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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Expect the Unexpected

June 1, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Expect the Unexpected  

Ring of Honor — Expect the Unexpected
by J.D. Dunn

When we last left ROH, all hell broke loose at the One-Year Anniversary Show as the Corino vs. Homicide match devolved into a riot. Meanwhile, the Prophecy continued to be a thorn in ROH’s side, refusing to defend the titles on the anniversary show and screwing popular Paul London out of a fair title shot.

Things aren’t all rosy for the Prophecy. ROH has decreed that the Prophecy has to defend the tag titles against AJ Styles & Paul London, and they scheduled a #1 contender’s match to determine a top challenger for Xavier’s ROH Heavyweight Title. Plus, Steve Corino’s rival “Group” is rumbling about which is the dominant stable.

  • March 15, 2003
  • From Cambridge, Mass.
  • Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Lovey.

  • The Prophecy joins us to gloat about Xavier’s title reign. Christopher Daniels accuses ROH of trying to screw him out of the tag titles by making him team with Xavier instead of his regular partner Donovan Morgan (who is in Japan). Allison Danger threatens her brother Steve Corino to stay out of Prophecy business, or she’ll reveal all of his darkest secrets.
  • Opening Match: Matt Stryker vs. Chad Collyer.
    This is a rematch from the Revenge on the Prophecy opener in which Collyer made Stryker tap to the Texas Cloverleaf. Both guys are excellent mat wrestlers, and we get an example of that early on as they exchange mat counters until Stryker comes out of it with a hammerlock. Both guys try to work each other’s arms, which is an interesting departure from their earlier match where both guys tried to work the legs. Collyer gets a nice armdrag to counter a hiptoss. Stryker gets the Strykerlock, but Collyer is in the ropes. Collyer segues to some legwork with a Hennig-kneebreaker and a half-crab. Stryker misses a corner knee, injuring his leg even more. That allows Collyer to lock in the Texas Cloverleaf. Stryker makes the ropes, though. Stryker makes the big comeback with a rollup and a leg lariat. For whatever reason, he forgets about the legwork yet again (the same problem I had with their first match) and hits a leg lariat and big boot. Collyer gets two off a Gedo Clutch, and they exchange a quick series of rollups. Stryker with the ANKLELOCK! Collyer rolls him over into a pining combination for two. Stryker does likewise with the Cloverleaf. Stryker tries a sunset flip, but Collyer rolls through and locks in the Texas Cloverleaf to pick up his second straight win over Stryker at 15:05. Excellent from a technical wrestling perspective, but neither guy really had a personality to speak of at this point, so it was just a lot of reversals without anyone to root for. I did like it a little more than their ROTP match, though. **3/4

  • In the back, Low Ki catches up with Da Hit Squad. Mafia seems to have a problem with Ki’s popularity, though. He’s resentful at being a mid-carder while Ki gets all they glory. Eventually, they all get on the same page (sort of) and deliver a promo on Special K. After the promo, Monsta Mack tells Ki he heard Homicide is bringing in his thug friends.
  • The Amazing Red vs. Slim J (w/Special K).
    Red has a bit of an issue with Special K because he was screwed over when Jody Fleisch joined the rich-kid ravers back at Final Battle 2002. If you didn’t already know, this is a big spotfest. Red hits a somersault plancha early. Slim J comes back with a flying kick and works in a number of creative (read: convoluted) moves. He goes all southern style, distracting the ref and then punching Red in the nuts. Red counters the Electric Chair to a reverse rana, but Slim J stays on top with a Swinging Brainbuster for two. A springboard reverse ddt gets two more. Slugger trips up Red, allowing Slim J to hit a Victory Star Drop for two. Red blocks a charge with a boot and gets two off a flying Flatliner. Red actually gets an F5 for two, but Slim J goes low. Red allegedly counters a moonsault to a Diamond Cutter. Well, that’s one interpretation. Red slips out of the Electric Chair again and fires off a pair of quick kick to set up the Red Star Press for two. Slugger trips Red again, but Red is still able to counter a rollup to a sitout piledriver at 12:03. Lots of cool moves but not much of a wrestling match. After the match, Slugger gives Red the Body Bag (Scoop Stunner). **1/4

  • The normally soft-spoken CM Punk surprises everyone by running down Boston as a bunch of drug addicts and says that Raven didn’t even show up, so that proves Punk is better than him. Punk is about to head out when Raven shows up and challenges him to a “Raven’s Rules” match. Punk tries to jump him from behind, and they brawl before Punk finally scurries away.
  • #1 Contender’s Tag Team Scramble: The Carnage Crew vs. The Backseat Boyz vs. AJ Styles (w/Alexis Laree) vs. The Spanish Announce Team.
    This was supposed to be AJ and Paul London, but London had to have emergency sinus surgery, so the Amazing Red is his surrogate, but of course Red was taken out earlier so AJ has to go it alone in this match. Jose Maximo and Trent Acid start out with some quick counters. Kashmere and Loc go next. Loc looks incredibly thin here compared to what he was in 2005. Kashmere spears him in mid-air, allowing AJ and Joel to come in. AJ looks good (and is hugely over with the crowd), but Joel is pretty sloppy. AJ hits the Quebrada DDT on Joel on the floor, but Jose takes him out with a suicida, leading to the car wreck spot with everyone flying out onto the pile. AJ pays tribute to London with a SSP onto everyone else. The Backseats isolate and doubleteam AJ, though. Trent Acid yanks down the ropes, sending AJ spilling to the floor. The Backseats hit the Dream Sequence on Joel. The SAT hit a crazy neckbreaker/moonsault on Loc. AJ comes in and starts clearing the ring by himself. Okay, that’s a tad unbelievable. The SAT catch up with him, but the CC break up the Spanish Fly. The Backseats hit an INSANE T-Gimmick on Loc, triggering a big brawl on the outside. That allows AJ to sunset flip over Joel and hit a devastating powerbomb at 12:15 to move on to the title match later tonight. Just like the match befor it, this was just a collection of amazing moves in lieu of a match. But those moves were really amazing. **1/2

  • After the match, The Outcast Killaz get in the ring and attack the SAT. The SAT battle back and hit the Spanish Fly. This was just an excuse to show off the Spanish Fly finisher to the crowd.
  • Six-Man Tag: Low Ki & Da Hit Squad vs. Dixie, Deranged & Angel Dust (w/Special K).
    The non-wrestling Special K members fake dives, allowing the guys who are actually scheduled to wrestle to dive out on the faces. They try again and get caught. Low Ki starts with Deranged. Monsta Mack tosses Deranged into the air, allowing Ki to unleash a SICK mid-air kick. Mafia tags in and kills Deranged with a spinebuster. Dixie blind tags himself in but gets planted on his head by a belly-to-belly suplex. Ki kicks the everloving crap out of Angel Dust. Mafia really loves that. Monsta Mack tags in and hits a German Suplex on both Dixie and Angel Dust. Finally, one of the Special K’ers on the outside trips up Mafia to allow Special K some offense and make the match respectable. Mafia hits a pair of Dragon Suplexes and tags in Low Ki. Ki kills all six members of Special K, allowing Mafia to squash Angel Dust with a cannonball. Slim J goes up with a chair, but Mack crotches him and pulls him down over Angel Dust. That actually didn’t look as convoluted as it probably should have. Mack hits a horrible-looking headbutt Van Terminator. Deranged grabs the chair and hits Mack, but the ref refuses to disqualify Special K because that’s what they want. Finally, all six members of Special K hop in and attack the faces, leaving the ref no choice but to DQ Special K at 12:37. Low Ki says he doesn’t want to win that way and makes the ref restart the match as a six-on-three handicap match. Special K tries to run away, but Ki and Da Hit Squad chase them down. Dixie plies Low Ki with drugs, knocking Ki silly. Special K surrounds him for an impromptu rave, but Ki was just playin’. He destroys everyone in the ring Bruce Lee-style and hits Dixie with the Tidal Wave. Da Hit Squad recover, and the faces hit triple finishers (Ki Krusher, Burning Hammer, Brainbuster) at 18:01. Fun, sports entertainmenty match. ***

  • The Carnage Crew talk about how much fun violence is. Loc complains that the government takes half his check and gas is $1.75. Wow.
  • Elsewhere, Raven picks up Trinity and walks out on his promo.
  • Quiet Storm & Ghost Shadow vs. The Ringcrew Express.
    Chris Devine is either touring elsewhere (the public version) or left the business because of problems with his girlfriend Trinity (the behind-the-scenes version), so Ghost Shadow takes his place. Ghost Shadow actually hits a Muscle Buster. Quiet Storm hits a Spinal Shock, but then he just goes out and stands there watching while Dunn hits a Gory Special on Ghost Shadow. That was awkward. Quiet Storm finishes Marcos with a modified Indian Deathlock at 4:00. Total dismantling of Dunn & Marcos. 3/4*

  • “Raven’s Rules”: Raven (w/Trinity) vs. CM Punk
    Punk is still using Hatebreed at this point, so his entrance isn’t nearly as cool. The story here is Raven does/did a lot of drugs/women, and Punk is straight-edge, so he doesn’t approve. Punk frustrates Raven early and mocks his poses. Raven comes back with a series of hiptosses and dropkicks Punk to the floor. He follows him out with a pescado. Punk grabs a chair, but it backfires as Punk misses a swing and hits himself on the rebound. Punk gets smart and goes after Trinity, baiting Raven into following him out. Punk sends Raven into the guardrail. He wedges the chair in the corner and whips Raven into it. Raven reverses a suplex on the outside and avoids a guillotine legdrop. Punk tries to put him out with a sleeper as blood starts spurting out of Raven’s head. Raven reverses to his own, but Punk counters to a jawbreaker. Raven comes back with a Mr. Wrestling #2 kneelift. Punk counters a superplex, but Raven avoids a dropkick and locks in a horrible Sharpshooter. Punk makes the ropes and dropkicks a table into Raven’s face. Trinity goes to check on Raven, so Punk tosses her into the guardrail. She recovers and pays him back with a moonsault. Punk tosses a chair at Raven’s head and REALLY takes Trinity out, legdropping her through a table. Back in, Punk hits a neckbreaker and a running knee to the face for two. Punk swipes the Raven Effect DDT to set up the Devil Lock (Tequila Sunrise). Raven makes the ropes, though. Punk “accidentally” takes out the referee. Raven drop toeholds Punk into the chair, but the ref is out. Raven goes for the Raven Effect, but Punk goes low and reapplies the Devil Lock as the ref recovers. That’s enough for the submission at 28:52. Punk offers a handshake and then double-crosses Raaven. The ref saves Punk from taking the Raven Effect and winds up taking one himself. Punk really benefited from this match, turning him into one of ROH’s top heels and making him look like a superstar. ***1/2

  • #1 Contender’s Trophy: Homicide vs. Samoa Joe vs. EZ Money vs. BJ Whitmer.
    Money & Whitmer start out, and hit’s hard to tell them apart, given their hairstyles. EZ Money looks really pudgy compared to his run in late WCW. Joe and Homicide tag in, and the difference is like night and day as they are actually over. Joe blocks a charge with the STJoe and tags Whitmer. Homicide kills Whitmer with a Facewash, and Money adds the Money Clip (slingshot clothesline). Whitmer is really taking a pounding in there as all three guys team up against him. Money even tries to twist his titty off. Finally, Whitmer gets in an offensive move with a Dragon Suplex on Homicide. It only gets two, and Homicide takes Whitmer out with a tope. Money blocks a huracanrana and hits a Blockbuster. He stops to pose and gets taken out with a leg lariat by Whitmer. Joe and Homicide slap it out. Joe powerbombs ‘Cide, but Homicide counters to a Triangle Choke. BJ and Homicide take turns no-selling T-Bone suplexes. With everyone else dead, EZ Money tries to capitalize. He hits the Cha-Ching (suplex drop) on Homicide but takes an Exploder ’98 from Whitmer. Money suplexes Joe, but Joe blocks another and locks in the Coquina Clutch for the win at 16:33. Xavier: Oh…shit. Homicide and Joe get in each other’s faces after the match, triggering another pull-apart with an unnamed Julius Smokes rooting on Homicide. The parts with Joe and Homicide were very good. The parts with a very green BJ Whitmer and a winded EZ Money weren’t. **3/4

  • ROH Tag Team Titles: Christopher Daniels & Xavier (w/Allison Danger) vs. AJ Styles & The Amazing Red (w/Alexis Laree).
    Neither of these teams are really intact as Xavier is subbing for Donovan Morgan and Red is subbing for Paul London. The Prophecy attacks at the bell and beats the challengers down, but AJ and Red hit stereo somersault planchas. The Prophecy considers walking before finally returning to start the match proper. Xavier dares Red to give him a kick, so Red unleashes a flurry on him. Xavier and Daniels duck to the outside again, and it appears Xavier has been knocked a bit loopy. AJ and Daniels run through their usual match, which is pretty good. The challengers start rattling off the doubleteams as Red 718s Daniels into a somersault senton by AJ. Xavier finally tags back in, and the pseudo-champs isolate AJ. Xavier actually works in a lungblower, months before John Walters would debut. Daniels stretches AJ over the top rope, and Xavier adds a splash. AJ comes back with a double kick and tags to Red. Red cleans house. A heel doublteam backfires as Daniels clotheslines Xavier. AJ tags back in and hits Daniels with the Quebrada DDT. Allison Danger trips up AJ, so AJ hauls her in and lets Alexis spear her. Xavier uses the distraction to hit AJ with Kiss Your X Goodbye (Inverted Michinoku Driver). Red sneaks in and hits the Code Red on Xavier. Daniels makes the save, and the Prophecy hits a pair of doubleteam neckbreakers on AJ and Red. Xavier is still out of it from the concussion, though, so AJ unloads on him. Daniels hits AJ with an STO and then hits Red with the Best Moonsault Ever. Red recovers and saves AJ from the Koji Clutch, but Daniels hits a double clothesline. He takes AJ out of the match with the Angel’s Wings. Awkward finish as Daniels fails to put away Red, so AJ recovers and hits him with the Styles Clash at 21:10. Red looked ready to hit something off the top, and it looked like Xavier made the save. Everyone, including the fans, was confused until the bell rang. New tag champs. This had a hot stretch until the bizarre finish. ***1/4

  • In the back, Homicide says his feud with Corino ain’t over yet. Julius Smokes cuts his first in a long line of nonsensical promos.
  • Christopher Daniels accuses of screwing him out of the tag titles.
  • CM Punk gloats about his win and promises to bury Raven next time.

  • The 411: Injuries and other promotional commitments took their toll on this show as London, Morgan, and Chris Devine were all scratched. The show featured the debut of Raven and Punk stepping up his game, but it still fell flat overall. Check out the Punk/Raven stuff on Punk's "Best of" DVD instead.

    Thumbs down for "Expect the Unexpected."

    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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