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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor – Night of Champions

June 4, 2006 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor – Night of Champions  

Just to catch you up. Chris Daniels has been a jerk ever since Ring of Honor started in February of 2002. He refuses to shake hands and follow the Code of Honor. He even recruited some fellow dishonorees to form “The Prophecy.” He brought in highly touted Samoa Joe to protect him from Low Ki, but that didn’t pan out because Joe is friends with Steve Corino. Eventually, Joe just walked away from the Prophecy and went off on his own. Tonight, he challenges the Prophecy’s Xavier for the RoH Heavyweight Title. Daniels, meanwhile, has to defend the FWA Title against Doug Williams.

Ring of Honor — Night of Champions (03.22.03)

  • From Philadelphia, Penn.
  • Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Lovey

  • Steve Corino delivers a promo from his shower in Japan, daring Daniels to cast the first stone.
  • Before the show, Special K tries to peer pressure Jody Fleisch into trying some product before his big match with Low Ki.
  • The Prophecy 2.0 stands by. Daniels brags about winning the FWA Heavyweight Title in Doug Williams’ own country. Tonight, Daniels will put the FWA Title, the #1 Contender’s Trophy on the line, and he’ll let Williams shake hands again. Xavier thinks that since he beat Low Ki and Low Ki beat Samoa Joe, therefore Xavier should be Joe. Don’t poke the bear, son. Once Daniels thinks the cameras have stopped, though, Daniels expresses dismay that Xavier is putting the title on the line.
  • Opening Match: Matt Stryker vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Alex Arion vs. Dixie (w/Special K).
    Whitmer and Stryker start with the usual good mat wrestling. The basic gist is that the match is a technical classic when Whitmer and Stryker are in there, Dixie provides the personality and high spots, Arion provides the ouzo. Kidding. Arion provides more of a convention pro-style. Whitmer tries to team up with Dixie, but it goes awry. Arion stays one step ahead of the other three in the early going. Stryker catches him with a powerbomb, though, and suddenly Arion is everyone’s bitch. Whitmer and Stryker want to go at it. CUE THE FINISHERS! Stryker blocks the Exploder and counters to a DVD. Dixie comes in with a Schwein Neckbreaker on Stryker. Arion hits Dixie with Splash Mountain. Arion goes after Stryker but pays for it with an Anklelock. Dixie make the save with a sloppy rana. Whitmer comes in and hits the EXPLODER ’98 for the win at 11:24. Sometimes less is more, and it became just another silly spotfest once they through the tag rule out the window. BJ made a name for himself, though, and that would become important later in the year. **

  • Scramble Tag: Quiet Storm & the Spanish Announce Team vs. Izzy, Deranged & Angel Dust (w/Mikey Whipwreck).
    Mikey Whipwreck actually turned his back on his own students and joined Special K at the 1st Anniversary Show, setting up this impromptu match. This is the usual athletic flippy flop stuff from Special K and the SATs innovative-but-convoluted offense. The Maximos nearly paralyze Angel Dust with a doubleteam Ace Crusher off the top. Special K takes over and brings the MPro with a series of dropkicks on Quiet Storm. Storm comes back with a Storm Cradle Driver on Angel Dust. Joel plants Izzy with Jericho’s old multiple powerbombs. He ends the sequence with a Gonzobomb, but Hydro and Slugger distract the ref while Mikey comes in and hits all three of the faces with Whippersnappers (the Stone Cold Stunner). Special K covers and gets the win at 6:21. After the match, Slugger gives them the SAT the Bodgybag. Then, a second big black guy comes through the crowd for a staredown with Slugger. **1/4

  • The camera then focuses on an altercation in the crowd as a couple of thugs (on of them being Julius Smokes) are sent packing.

  • Dunn & Marcos vs. The Backseat Boyz.
    The Backseats are CZW mainstays that recently signed with RoH. The Backseats hit stereo dropkicks, but the Ringcrew Express mock them. The Boyz basically have their way with Dunn & Marcos for the early part. Dunn takes it to the outside and hits a delayed suplex on Kashmere. Back in, Marcos sets up Acid with a shiranui, and Dunn comes off the top with a Picture Perfect Elbow. The Backseats catch Dunn with the Dream Sequence and slam Marcos down on him. Marcos saves Dunn from the T-Gimmick, but the Backseats get it moments later for the win at 5:23. Acid gets on the mic and tells us that the Backseats are the best tag team in the world. When they go through the curtain, though, they run right into Da Hit Squad. **

  • FWA Title, #1 Contender’s Trophy, Handshake Match: Christopher Daniels (w/Alison Danger) vs. Doug Williams.
    So if Williams wins, he can shake hands, he gets the #1 contender’s trophy, and the FWA Title back. Trashtalk to start. Williams starts with a number of unconventional pinfall attempts, trying to catch Daniels off guard. Daniels goes outside to regain his composure then goes after Williams’ arm back inside. Daniels rams him into the corner and rakes the eyes to take over. Daniels controls with a headlock to slow the pace down. Williams gets out of it with a nice backdrop suplex. Williams goes after Daniels’ neck to set up the Chaos Theory. He splashes his neck and slaps on a headscissors. Daniels counters by going after the ribs with a series of knees and a gutbuster. He slings Williams on the top rope and dropkicks him to the floor. The ribwork continues as Daniels hits shoulder in the corner. Williams avoids a second charge and goes for his double knee. Daniels cuts him off with a knee, though, and applies an abdominal stretch. Williams hits him with a knee and goes up. Daniels avoids him and goes for another knee to the gut. This time, though, Williams slings over him into a schoolboy for two. A lariat drops Daniels down on his neck again. Daniels is clutching his neck, so Williams drops him again with a Fisherman’s Buster. Williams goes for the finish with a Tornado DDT, but Daniels drives his ribs into the turnbuckle again. Williams avoids the Iconoslam and hits that DDT he was looking for. He can’t capitalize immediately, though, and only gets two. Daniels calls for the Best Moonsault Ever, but Williams pops up and drags him down into the Crippler Crossface. Daniels makes the ropes and cuts off another Williams charge with a side gutbuster. The Best Moonsault Ever gets two. Williams charges again, but Daniels catches him with the STO into the Koji Clutch! Williams slips out and grabs a neck vise! Daniels blocks the Chaos Theory, so Williams snaps him over into a Swinging Cobra Clutch. Williams goes up and drops a knee on the back of Daniels’ neck. This is some great psychology from both guys. Daniels gets his foot on the ropes. Daniels misses a swing, and Williams hits the CHAOS THEORY for the win at 18:13. Williams mockingly shakes an unconscious Daniels’ hand. Good stuff with both guys targeting body parts and using that to counter the other guy’s offense. ****

  • Samoa Joe, CW Anderson and Ronnie “Simply Luscious” Stevens come out and jaw with Julius Smokes. Jack Victory jumps Smokes from behind, and they brawl in the crowd. Homicide runs down and attacks Anderson, bumping up the next match.

  • Homicide & Da Hit Squad vs. Samoa Joe, CW Anderson & Jack Victory (w/Ronnie Stevens).
    Joe starts out trading blows with all three of his opponents. Mafia hits Joe with a German Suplex. Anderson tries a superkick, but Mafia blocks and clotheslines him. Victory hits Mafia from the outside to quell his momentum. Joe comes in and hits Homicide with the STO. DHS doubleteams Joe with a cannonball. CW catches Mafia with the spinebuster but stumbles into an Ace Crusher by Homicide. Becky Bayless jumps the rail and attacks Ronnie Stevens. Ronnie jumps in the ring to get away from Bayless and runs right into Homicide. He gives her THE COP KILLER! Take that, Corino. Anderson sneaks up on him and gives Homicide the shoulderbreaker and locks in a reverse armbar. Everyone else brawls to the back, so Anderson and Victory team up against Homicide. Anderson puts Homicide through a garbage can with the Spinebuster. That’s enough for the ref to throw the whole thing out at 7:08. Smokes and the Hollis crew run down (including one guy with a machete!) and chase the wrestlers away. They take Homicide to the back. *1/4

  • Doug Williams talks about finally tracking down Christopher Daniels and regaining his FWA Title. He looks forward to taking on whoever the champion is after tonight.

  • Mace Mendoza & Hotstuff Hernandez vs. The Carnage Crew.
    Buff E can’t be here because “his ass hurts,” says Mace. Hernandez gets a pair of clotheslines and a spear. Mace gets the Nutrub in the corner and spanks Devito. Loc sneaks up on Mendoza and gives him a backdrop suplex. The CC put Mace in a double half-crab. Mace gets a high Thesz Press (think about it) on Loc. Hernandez cleans house on the Crew and hits a Dominator. Loc jumps off the top…right into a sitout powerbomb. The CC roll to the floor, so Hernandez skies out on top of them with a no-hands over-the-top tope. Devito drops Hernandez on the rail and hits him with a chairshot. Back inside, the CC finish off Mace with a Spiked Piledriver off the second rope at 6:25. After the match, Buff E makes his appearance and cleans house on the CC. Hernandez looked impressive and had the fans in the audience wanting to see more. *1/2

  • RoH Tag Team Championship: AJ Styles & Amazing Red (w/Alexis Laree) vs. The Briscoe Brothers.
    YES! This is the first of several matches in one of the best feuds of the year and almost certainly the best tag feud of the year. This match was signed earlier, but Styles and Red won the titles in the interim, so they put them on the line here. This is Mark’s first official appearance in RoH. Jay starts with Red and hits an early powerslam to take over. Mark and Red fight back and forth over a series of pinfalls. Stalemate. AJ comes in and wrestles with Mark on the mat. AJ gets a German Suplex. He tries the same thing on Jay but can’t get him over. Red helps out with a superkick, and the Briscoes roll to the floor. AJ and Red team up for STEREO PLANCHAS! Mark catches AJ with a uranage, but AJ comes back with his gutbuster/backbreaker/Gargoyle Suplex sequence. Red catches Mark with Brain Damage (reverse Styles Clash) and tags to AJ. AJ drops Mark with a Brainbuster DDT and busts out his backbreaker/gutbuster sequence. AJ goes up, but Mark dropkicks him into the post. Mark goes for that Ace Crusher off the top, but AJ counters to a backdrop suplex in mid-air. Red tags in and sweeps Mark’s leg into the Red Star Press for two. Red elbows out of a chinlock but runs right into a big boot. Jay hits Red with a lariat that spins him over. They work in the false tag sequence as Red powers his way to his corner off a front facelock, but Mark has the ref distracted. Red gets out of trouble with a swirling kick to Jay and a Hiptoss DDT to Mark. HOT TAG TO AJ! AJ cleans house on the brothers. AJ and Mark knock each other down, so Red and Jay hit stereo Shining Wizards! Jay takes AJ to the floor with a Cactus Clothesline, and the Briscoes counter Code Red to a facebuster. AJ comes back in with an inverted DDT/DDT on both Briscoe Brothers. Jay hits AJ with a Falcon Arrow for two. Red makes the save and hits a kick to his back. Red gets a SUPER CODE RED for two. Mark makes the save and hits a heel kick enzuigiri. That leaves AJ and Mark. In one of the greatest ending sequences in tag team wrestling, Mark goes up only to have AJ vault Red up into a huracanrana (like Edge & Mysterio), but AJ is waiting and catches Mark in mid-air and gives him THE STYLES CLASH for the win at 16:45! Although it was quite spotty and too chaotic during the final portion to be truly “great,” it nevertheless stole the show and kicked off the Briscoes’ quest for the titles. Definitely try to catch the finish. ****

  • Low Ki vs. Jody Fleisch.
    Low Ki is on a kick (tee hee) to teach Special K some manners. Fleisch is clearly intimidated early, trying to keep his distance. He tries a kick, but Ki no-sells. They exchange wristlock counters, and Low Ki gets a spiffy handstand kick. Fleisch nearly gets the 720 DDT, but Ki flips him over into the Dragon Clutch. It’s early, so Fleisch is able to roll through. Ki keeps him down in an overhand knucklelock until Fleisch comes back with a reverse huracanrana. Ki rolls to the floor. Fleisch hits him with a missile dropkick and a springboard SSP. Back in, Fleisch gets a split-legged moonsault for two. He makes the mistake of slapping Ki around, so Ki comes back with his springboard kick. A double underhook suplex gets two for Low Ki. Fleisch blocks a charge and hits a corkscrew crossbody for two. Fleisch goes for the 720 DDT again, but Ki catches him in midair. Jody counters to a Triangle Armbar, but Ki powers out of it. A Kappou Kick puts Jody down in the corner. Jody ducks a buzzsaw kick, so Ki hits him with Kawada kicks. Fleisch avoids the Tidal Crush and gets two off a German Suplex. Fleisch makes the ropes to break a leglock, and they chop it out. Fleisch hits a pair of enzuigiris. Fleisch gets two off a Victory Roll, but Low Ki comes right back with a Jackknife Powerbomb for two of his own. Low Ki counters the Satellite Headscissors by slamming Fleisch’s head into the turnbuckle. He hits the Tidal Crush to send Fleisch over the top and to the floor. Ki stops to recover for a bit, so Fleisch waits for him on the outside and springboards back into the ring with a Shooting Star Piledriver (well, in theory). Ki rolls to the outside, forcing Fleisch to bring him back in. That buys Ki enough time to kick out. Jody goes out for the 720, but Ki’s not getting up. Jody gets impatient and drags Ki up to the top rope. Ki fights back on top and finishes with the SUPER KI KRUSHER! (19:40) Thanks to Fleisch’s mad-scientist propensity to try things that no human being should ever try (Shooting Star Piledriver?!), this match wound up working quite well. At first, Ki had little-to-no respect for Fleisch’s offense, so Jody kept hitting bigger and bigger moves down the stretch. Ki has a wider arsenal, though, so he picks up the win. ***1/2

  • In the back, Fleisch is still out of it, so Deranged gives him some of the good shit to perk him.
  • CM Punk comes down with Ace Steel. He runs down the fans for drinking and doing drugs and sleeping with people they don’t even love. He would never work for a boss he hates, and he also derides them for praying to a God that he knows doesn’t exist. He wants to make an example out of Raven.
  • Raven’s Rules: Raven & Colt Cabana vs. CM Punk & Ace Steel.
    Punk runs down Cabana for being brainwashed by Raven and tagging against his own trainer and best friend. Of course, Punk called out Raven earlier in the year when Raven came in to RoH. They met in Boston at Expect the Unexpected where Punk made Raven tap out. Punk does his best to avoid Raven. He and Steel eventually manage to isolate Cabana. Cabana comes back with a double knee and tags Raven, but Punk slides to the outside. Steel waits for Raven to turn his back and hits him with a chair. Steel filches a Raven move by snapping him into the railing with a Russian Leg Sweep. Now, Punk will wrestle him. Punk stretches him with a modified Indian Deathlock. He sets up a chair, but Raven reverses and drop toeholds him into the chair. Cabana tags in and clotheslines Punk over the top. Raven delivers a Cactus Clothesline to send Steel out. Punk goes for the Facewash on Cabana, but Raven hits him with a chair. Cabana hits the Colt .45, but Steel makes the save. Cabana gets caught in the wrong corner yet again. Punk gets a Flipping 3/4 Bulldog, but Cabana gets his hand on the ropes. Cabana catches Punk with the Honor Roll and tags Raven. CUE THE MEMPHIS BOOKING! Raven cleans house with a trash can. Punk tries to hit a Van Daminator, but Raven just throws the can right back in his face. Punk and Steel are on the outside, so Raven hits a running plancha. Cabana decides to follow them out with a moonsault. He comes up screaming in agony and clutching his knee. Cabana’s out of it, making it 2-on-1. Back in, Raven goes for the Raven Effect, but Steel breaks it up with a missile dropkick. Raven thrust kicks Punk in the jaw as Steel sets up a table. Punk tries an elbow, but it misses, and he crashes through the table. Raven pops up and hits Steel with the Raven Effect for the win at 15:53. After the match, Punk refuses to shake his hand. Raven tries for the Raven Effect, but Punk bails out. Raven gives Steel another one for punishment and challenges Punk to a rematch. Punk starts yelling at Cabana for not defending his trainer. Punk attacks Raven from behind, and CABANA TURNS on Raven, stomping him down. Punk gives Raven a drop toehold to the chair. Cabana gets on the mic and says that he’s not going to follow Raven because Punk is his best friend and Raven is just a washed up has-been. ***

  • Homicide says he will bring a real Bunkhouse Legend to the Bunkhouse Brawl next month — Dusty Rhodes. Julius Smokes says…something. Low Ki comes in and wonders why Homicide would bring the street life to Ring of Honor where it doesn’t belong.
  • Ring of Honor Championship: Xavier (w/Alison Danger & Christopher Daniels) vs. Samoa Joe.
    Before the match, Michael Shane comes down and superkicks Daniels. CW Anderson grabs Alison Danger and drags her to the back. That leaves Joe vs. Xavier. Oh dear God. This was just unmitigated slaughter for the first few minutes. Get the police tape. Xavier lays in his stiffest chops, but Joe no-sells and gives him a little sissy slap just to mock him. Xavier tries to skin the cat, but Joe just stands there and watches him then kicks him right in the grill. To the outside, Joe hits a running knee that puts Xavier through the ring barrier. Back in, Xavier hits a backcracker (Carlito style) to work Joe’s neck/shoulders. Xavier actually gets a belly-to-belly for two. A dropkick sends Joe to the outside. Xavier sprints into a tope and turns it into a Tornado DDT on the floor! Back in, Xavier slaps him in the face instead of pinning him. Xavier hits him with a seated dropkick, but Joe just gets pissed off and starts chopping his way back. Neither man can get a suplex, so Xavier starts trying to chop down the tree with lariats. Joe cuts him right the hell off with his own lariat. Joe hits a German into a Dragon Suplex into another German Suplex for two. Xavier rolls on top of Joe for two. Joe counters the X-Breaker to a Brainbuster, but Xavier knees him in the head on the way up. Xavier hits the X-Breaker, but the 450-splash hits Joe’s knees. Joe knees him in the head repeatedly and chokes him out with the Coquina Clutch at 11:55. The crowd loves it! Joe falls to his knees and kisses the title belt that he would hold for the next year and a half. **1/2

  • Raven says he’s impressed with Punk’s potential. Unfortunately, he thinks Punk is a jackass. He calls Punk’s little group a freak show and a group of misfits. He says they can do whatever they want to him as long as he can give him the Raven Effect. Raven warns him to look over his shoulder.
  • Christopher Daniels says this has been a horrible week for the Prophecy. Daniels lost the FWA Title and the tag titles. Xavier lost the title and will be out for several months. And to top it all off, Corino’s Group fired the first shot. He says it doesn’t surprise him that Michael Shane would be the one to fire the first shot. He tells us he’ll be back and so will the Prophecy. He’s got his sights set on Michael Shane and Corino.
  • We catch up with Corino (ironically enough on the internet). He says Homicide is less than a man for giving his Cop Killer finisher to Ronnie Stevens. He plans on coming back to RoH soon, so Homicide better be ready.
  • The 411: Ring of Honor scores again with another great show, arguably their best since All-Star Extravaganza. It had two very good matches with the FWA Title and RoH Tag Title matches. It also had the next chapter in the Punk vs. Raven feud. Joe's title win almost seems like an afterthought here, but it would be the one thing that steadied Ring of Honor's ship over the next year. Very good show.

    Easy thumbs up.

     
    Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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