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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor – Reborn: Stage One

July 14, 2006 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor – Reborn: Stage One  

Ring of Honor — Reborn: Stage One
by J.D. Dunn

This is an important pair of shows in Ring of Honor’s history. They were coming off “The Feinstein Incident,” which had the ripple effect of TNA pulling AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, two major players in Ring of Honor, off the show. Zero-One also pulled Corino, Low Ki and Spanky. Instead of folding the tent, Ring of Honor decided to let some of their lesser-used players shine.

What I find most interesting is that TNA also pulled CM Punk, but rather than turn his back on the promotion, Punk quit TNA and sided with Ring of Honor! It wound up paying off for him, because Punk was huge in 2004, leading to a developmental deal with the WWE and a spot in ECW 2.0.

  • April 23, 2004
  • From St. Paul, Minn.
  • Your hosts are Chris Lovey and CM Punk.

  • Interview time: Homicide threatens to kill Samoa Joe and take his title.
  • Interview time: The Carnage Crew is pissed off because they worked and scraped for two years to get respect and then someone shit in their bags. No literally. Now they’re going through the RoH roster until they find out who did it — starting with Dunn & Marcos.
  • Interview time: Samoa Joe displays his cache of chokes. Bryan Danielson interrupts him and reminds him that the choke is illegal. They blame each other for the tag loss, and Danielson swears he’ll take Joe’s title from him.
  • Matt Stryker vs. Nigel McGuiness.
    Both guys are big mat technicians. Stryker is already the #1 contender, and Nigel is coming back from the U.K. hopefully to make a name for himself in Ring of Honor. Everything is back and forth for the first five minutes as they scrap for an advantage. McGuiness uses a wicked wishbone stretch while Stryker goes after the ankle with a Kurt Angle-ish Anklelock. Eventually, McGuiness targets Stryker’s shoulder with a hammerlock DDT and an armbar DDT, trying to set up his keylock submission. They wind up on the mat again, though, and McGuiness is unable to put the necessary weight on his ankle to bridge and gets pinned at 10:12. Nothing special, but smart psychology and execution. **1/4

  • Ricky Steamboat, looking disturbingly like Burt Reynolds, says the Briscoes & Second City Saints remind him of the tag title matches he used to have.
  • The Carnage Crew vs. The Ringcrew Expess.
    Dunn & Marcos are always so blithely unaware of the asskicking they are about to receive. The RC Express proclaims their innocence in the bag incident, and if the CC insists on accusing them, well, they’re not gonna take it…anymore. The Carnage Crew dominates for most of the match with Dunn & Marcos playing the part of pinballs. Funny CM Punk moment on commentary: Lovey says it’s interesting that these two debuted against each other two years earlier at “Night of Appreciation.” CM Punk corrects him, saying that wasn’t interesting at all. Marcos gets a Shiranui, but it only gets two. Devito takes out Dunn with a Northern Lights Suplex into the turnbuckle, and the CC finish Marcos with the Spiked Second-Rope Piledriver at 8:19. Typical Ringcrew Express glorified squash. *

  • “Good Times, Great Memories” with Colt Cabana. He opens the show with a monologue, which includes a backstage update from rohwrestling.com that lets us know that Alison Danger got her period. He also mocks the Havana Pitbulls, pissing them off good and proper. Finally, he brings on Becky Bayless to do some jumping jacks. Becky’s gimmick is basically Maria minus 20 IQ points and plus a few bra sizes.
  • John Walters vs. Justin Credible.
    Justin has been surprisingly over with the crowds since his comeback, and this is no different. Walters made Credible tap to the Sharpshooter at “Empire State Showdown,” so there’s a bit of an issue. Of course, Walters tries to turn it into a technical match while Credible brawls. Walters, though, is the first one to take it to the outside where he’s out of his element, so Credible is able to take over. From there, it turns into the usual Credible Velocity match. Walters gets a Mutalock at one point, but Credible makes the ropes and hits a superkick. Walters slips out of That’s Incredible and finishes with the Lungblower (Backcracker) at 8:50. A good showcase for Walters in front of a new crowd. *3/4

  • 6-Man Mayhem: Danny Daniels vs. Masada vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Jack Evans.
    Before the match, Evans busts out the Windmill. Take that, Booker T. Rave and Shelley start with Shelley busting out a Mr. Salty. Rave is suffering because he lost his mentor, AJ Styles, but he makes a good showing for himself. Its your usual clusterhump with everyone just doing their own thing. Masada busts out an Inverted Windmill on Jacobs, and Evans adds a dropkick to his head. They do a spot where everyone just hits Masada with corner charges. Shelley hits Evans with a Cradle Stunner. Rave gets the Shining Wizard on Masada, but Jacobs makes the save and hits the Shiranui. Daniels blocks another Shiranui and counters to an Electric Chair Piledriver. Evans takes out everyone else with a Corkscrew Quebrada to the floor. That leaves Alex Shelley in the ring with an injured Jimmy Jacobs. Shelley finishes him off with the Crossface at 11:32. **3/4

  • In the back, Shelley finds Jacobs suffering in the hallway and asks him if he’s good to go tomorrow because Alex doesn’t want to partner with a weak link.
  • Grudge Match: BJ Whitmer vs. Colt Cabana (w/CM Punk).
    Ricky Steamboat is your special ref. Cabana is dressed in martial arts garb and carries a Cabbage Patch Kid to the ring to mock Steamboat. Punk makes sure to take credit for Daniels not being at the show tonight and threatens to take out another non-sXer. He waits for Steamboat to turn his back and then attacks him from behind, screaming, “That’s for Jersey!” Steamboat chases Punk to the back, so we get a regular ref. Despite his attire, this is the beginning of a more serious Colt Cabana, “serious” being a relative term. Whitmer has been serious all along, though, so basically, this match just amounts to him challenging Colt to step up and get violent, and get violent Colt does. He takes it out into the crowd and whips him into a section of chairs and then hits him with a chairshot while he’s exposed. Back in, Cabana continues to dominate until Whitmer belly-to-bellies him into the turnbuckle. Cabana blocks the Exploder, but Whitmer catches him going up and hits a SUPER EXPLODER! DANGEROUUUUUS! Whitmer picks up the win at 11:34. It proved its point, but it never really got going enough to be anything more than a “pretty good” match. ***
  • In the back, Alex Shelley says everyone should have known that he would win the 6-Man Mayhem match because he’s the best wrestler out of all those guys. He also says that now that the deck has been reshuffled, he will make his mark at Ring of Honor’s “Generation Next” show.
  • Delirious vs. Matt Sydal (w/Daizee Haze).
    We need to make a rule that says wrestling women can’t have porn names unless they’re going to have sex on camera. Sydal has been gaining a reputation as a fine indy spot machine. Delirious is good too but hasn’t had the same exposure. They wrestle this as exactly what it is — an exhibition for more opportunities. Sydal lands on his feet off a missed Shooting Star, and Delirious hits a Hurricane DDT. Sydal catches Delirious going up and finishes him with a Super Belly-to-Belly suplex at 6:24. Sydal’s athleticism was impressive. **

  • Non-Title Match: The Briscoe Brothers vs. The Havana Pitbulls.
    The Pitbulls made a big reputation for themselves in New Japan and CMLL. They have a similar style to Low Ki. Lovey actually says that just after I type it. Their offense consists mostly of striking and grinding down their opponents. The Pitbulls dominate early until Jay finally gets pissed off and fires back with forearms. The match breaks down into a war of words as the two teams get into each other’s faces. The Pitbulls isolate Jay, and Romero wisely keeps jabbing at Mark to pull him in. Mark gets the hot tag, and they get a double face wash to Romero. The Briscoes hit a Double Stomp Decapitation on Romero, but Reyes makes the save, and the Pitbulls return the favor with a Kneedrop Decapitator. Romero breaks up the Doomsday Device, but the Pitbulls can’t finish Jay off with the high knee/lariat combo. The Briscoes bust out the Spiked Jaydriller for the win at 18:22. The Pitbulls looked good here, coming out with a no-nonsense style that fits perfectly with RoH. The fact that the champs needed to go with the Spiked Jaydriller, which is like DefCon 5 for them, showed that the Pitbulls were already among the elites. ***1/2

  • CM Punk vs. Bryan Danielson.
    Ricky Steamboat returns to fulfill his contractual duties and referee the Punk match. Obviously, Punk is not happy. Promoters will never go broke booking this type of match. Everything in this match says that Punk should finally get his comeuppance. He’s up against a total badass, and he has the ref against him. How many times did they set up Flair to fail like this in the 1980s? Punk stalls to start, but once Danielson catches up with him, it’s a stretching exhibition. Punk stops the match to complain about hair-pulling, but Steamboat is having none of it. Finally forced to wrestle, Punk goes after Danielson’s back. He actually tries to use Rob Van Dam’s Front Roll Slam into a split-legged moonsault, but Danielson gets his knees up. Punk is forced to rake the eyes to get out of a Dragon Surfboard, and he finally takes a definite advantage when he suplexes Danielson to the floor. Danielson comes back with a flying forearm and an airplane spin, but he’s so dizzy that he can’t capitalize right away, and Punk moves out of the way of a diving headbutt. Punk counters Cattle Mutilation to an Unprettier and follows it up with the Shining Wizard for two. The tease a double KO before Punk counters a crucifix to a Samoan Drop and locks in the Devil Lock. Punk goes up, but Danielson catches him with a dropkick on the way down and locks in a Guillotine Stretch for the submission at 26:10. The Steamboat vs. Punk angle threatened to overwhelm the match early, but once Steamboat faded into the background, the match turned into the classic fans knew it could be. Most importantly, though Punk didn’t display the same level of moveset, this match showed he could hang with a main-eventer like Danielson. After the match, Colt Cabana sneaks in, and the Second City Saints lay the beatdown on Ricky Steamboat. The Briscoe Brothers make the save. ****
  • Ring of Honor Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Homicide.
    Homicide nearly defeated Joe in mid-2003 until Low Ki and Julius Smokes distracted him on the outside. Then, Homicide choked Joe out with a noose. Joe sent a message by taking out Julius Smokes, so Homicide is also hellbent on revenge here in addition to going after the title. Homicide spends most of the early part of the match stalling and jawing with the fans. Joe dominates once it gets down to wrestling, so Homicide tries to bite his ear off. Joe plants Homicide with a sidewalk slam and follows him to the floor with a tope. Joe splats him on the floor with a hiptoss and hits a Facewash back inside. Finally, Homicide blocks a charge and gets two off a piledriver. This was starting to look like an overhyped squash. He sends Joe to the floor with an enzuigiri and hits a tope con hilo. It proves to be a mistake, though, because Joe takes over again on the outside and hits an Olay Kick. Back in, Joe plants him with a powerbomb, but Homicide escapes the follow-up STF. Homicide blocks a lariat and hits an Ace Crusher and his own lariat for two. Homicide rolls Joe up and gets a two so close that the timekeeper rings the bell. Homicide blames the ref and knocks him out cold. Suddenly, the lights go out, and Homicide lights a FIREBALL in Joe’s face! That’s obviously enough for the DQ at 19:02. Homicide takes out the referees until EVERYONE empties from the locker room and drags him to the back. The Second City Saints jump the Briscoes from behind, causing a second brawl that needs to be broken up. The Carnage Crew and Ringcrew Express take turns diving on one another, and then Jack Evans hits a springboard corkscrew plancha on everyone just to show he won’t be outdone. When the smoke clears, Punk and Cabana are still in the ring, so Ricky Steamboat returns and kicks righteous ass on the SCS. Play “Sirius” and we’re out. ***1/2

  • The 411: This is a prime example of a show that doesn't have the best matches, but it has them in the right place. The final shmozz was a great way to say, "Hey, we still have a lot of talent here, and here they are." Punk really stepped it up on this show, even above his great work before this. It's too bad he and Ricky could never pay off their feud in the ring.

    Enthusiastic thumbs up for "Reborn: Stage One."

    Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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