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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — The Tradition Continues

July 19, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — The Tradition Continues  

Ring of Honor — The Tradition Continues
by J.D. Dunn

Back at Beating the Odds, the Briscoes got two improbable victories, one of which earned Jay Briscoe a title shot at Samoa Joe.

Meanwhile, the Raven/CM Punk feud was boiling over, and it was about to come to a head. Raven and Tommy Dreamer tied Punk up and poured beer down the straight-edger’s throat. Punk retaliated by crucifying Raven on a straight-edge “X” at Beating the Odds.

In other news, the Field of Honor league tournament continues.

  • October 16, 2003
  • From Glen Burnie, Mary.
  • Your hosts are Chris Lovey and CM Punk.

  • Gary Michael Capetta shares memories about Baltimore wrestling history. Prince Nana interrupts and says he deserves a title shot after all his hard work. BWAHAHAHAHA! Samoa Joe walks out and agrees to put up the title.
  • Opening Match, ROH World Title: Samoa Joe vs. Prince Nana.
    Nana hits his running buttalanche, but Joe nails him with an enzuigiri and chokes Nana out with the Coquina Clutch at 0:57. There was no ref, but Capetta announced Joe as the winner, so I guess it’s official. 1/4*

  • Joe says the same thing will happen to Jay Briscoe tonight. That brings out Jay Briscoe to boot him in the face and send a message that Jay will not back down. Mark Briscoe helps separate the two.
  • Good Times, Great Memories:

    Colt Cabana’s special guests are the Backseat Boys. He asks them hard-hitting questions about which one is dating Britney Spears, and if they get chubbies when the ladies are shoving dollar bills down their pants. Cabanariffic.

  • Tag Team Scramble: The Rottweilers (w/Julius Smokes) vs. Josh Daniels & Danny Doering vs. Slyk Wagner Brown & Sonjay Dutt vs. Dunn & Marcos.
    No April Hunter. Urge to kill… rising. This version of the Rottweilers is Grim Reefer and former Special K bodyguard Slugger (I wish we could get a consensus on that spelling). Josh Daniels wrestles exactly like Chris Benoit used to, so if you’re really jonesing for Benoit, go get as much Josh Daniels as you can. Grim Reefer has a hard time keeping up with Sonjay Dutt so he just slaps him. Slyk and Slugger go at it, which is actually kind of an interesting contest because it’s so different from all the other guys. Dunn & Marcos team up for Sliced Bread #2 on Slugger. Sonjay blitzes Greefer (I like portmanteaus) and hits a Stunner. Slugger gets a little revenge on Dunn with a big boot. That sets up a Grim Reefer splash. The Body Bag finishes Dunn at 8:15. The Rottweilers were supposed to be Smokes’ foray into tag team wrestling so their win made sense, but with the Havana Pitbulls coming into ROH, it made Slugger and Grim Reefer obsolete. **1/2

  • Field of Honor, Block A: Matt Stryker vs. Chris Sabin.
    Stryker is 1-0 in the Field of Honor. This is Sabin’s first match in the FOH. Stryker takes things to the mat early, and he’s able to keep Sabin on his hind feet there. Sabin goes up-tempo, though, and gets several nearfalls. Stryker misses a charge but catches Sabin springboarding in and drops him right on his head with a powerslam. Oops. It only gets two. Stryker hits a sloppy powerbomb for two. These guys are dangerously not on the same page. Sabin comes back with a dropkick and a springboard spinning wheel kick for two. He hits a springboard Tornado DDT for two. Stryker boots him in the face and goes for the Death Valley Driver. Sabin reverses to a crucifix, but Stryker rolls through to the DVD at 10:03. Just to add an exclamation point, Sabin and Stryker knocked heads on the DVD, busting Sabin’s eye open and spilling blood all over the ring. These two just couldn’t get anything right, and it nearly killed Sabin twice. It’s a shame because they’re both quite good. Sometimes it just happens like that. Not sure if they ever got a do-over. **

  • In the back, Stryker apologies profusely, but Sabin says it’s all part of the game.
  • Field of Honor, Block B: Colt Cabana vs. BJ Whitmer.
    Both guys are 1-0. Colt keeps giving BJ high fives, so BJ grabs his hands and turns it into an overhand knucklelock. Punk’s constant ripping Whitmer is hilarious. “Yeah, hit the guy with the leg lariat and then work his arm.” Cabana tries to run the ropes and trips over BJ, drawing derision from the crowd. Colt returns and hits a Mr. Wrestling II kneelift and a fistdrop. BJ goes for a suplex, but Colt reverses and snaps him over for his own suplex. Lovey says that neither guy has a real gameplan here, which is a Jim Ross-ish way of saying they’re just stringing moves together. At least Colt has entertaining moves. He busts out some World Class classics with Iceman Parson’s butt bump and an Iron Claw. Whitmer powers out of it and belly-to-bellies him into the buckle. Whitmer slips out of the Colt .45, but Colt drops him on his head with a backdrop suplex. Colt hits a surprise, complicated rollup for the win at 11:30. The match kind of meandered along, but Colt kept things more entertaining than usual (so did Punk’s commentary). **1/4

  • In the back, AJ Styles tells Jimmy Rave that he has to take advantage of people’s injuries if he wants to be a winner. Rave isn’t so sure he wants to be “that guy.” He’d get over it eventually.
  • ROH Tag Team Titles: The Backseat Boys vs. Izzy & Dixie (w/Special K).
    The Backseats hit their do-si-do back kicks early, but they turn their backs on Special K and get knocked to the floor. Izzy catches Trent Acid on the second-rope and slam him off. Sick spot as Izzy grabs Kashmere in a wheelbarrow on the outside and Dixie adds a legdrop to drive Kashmere’s face into the floor. Back in, Izzy hits a reverse huracanrana on Acid. Acid plays face-in-peril until Kashmere can recover and get the tag. He spears Dixie into the corner and avoids Izzy’s charge. Becky distracts the referee while all the other Special K guys come in and get their asses handed to them by the Backseats. Acid and Kashmere hit the T-Gimimick, but Elax pulls out the referee. Izzy hits Acid with the belt and drops him with a gourdbuster. That leads to a Dixie springboard splash for the win and the titles at 8:44. Despite the silliness of the ref not calling for a DQ when he was dragged out of the ring (which, in fairness, happens in every fed), the match was a very fun spotfest. ***

  • After the match, HC Loc attacks Special K and breaks up their rave. The Rottweilers do the same and manage to clear the ring, but Special K has the belts.
  • CM Punk bemoans the fact that people are using prescription drugs.
  • CM Punk vs. AJ Styles.
    Now this would be a dream match today. Both guys are jockeying for position in the Top Five. Ray Murrow and Samoa Joe fill in on commentary. AJ was gravitating more toward TNA at this point, but he was still over enough to push in ROH. He and Punk casually trade maneuvers to one-up each other until Punk catches AJ with a snap backdrop suplex to take over. Punk works AJ over with no particular pattern. Finally, AJ blocks a split-legged moonsault and comes back. Punk sunset flip bombs him but only gets two. AJ goes for the Super Styles Clash, but Punk slips out and blocks a Tornado DDT. Punk goes for the Shining Wizard, but AJ scoops him up in mid-move and turns it into the Styles Clash at 18:19. Pretty good match down the stretch. Great finish! These two characters worked well together. ***1/2

  • Gary Michael Capetta asks what the scoop is with The Backseat Boyz. Meh.
  • In the back, Special K parties with Becky to celebrate their title win.
  • Field of Honor, Block B: Dan Maff (w/Alison Danger) vs. Jimmy Rave.
    Rave, like an idiot, offers a handshake. Dude, do you even watch your own promotion? Jimmy gets his ass kicked for several minutes, hits a fluke move to make a comeback and then waits as the ref checks on Maff. You know, there’s portraying naïve and portraying just plain stupid. Jimmy flips out of the Burning Hammer but gets crushed with a cannonball. Jimmy nearly puts it away with the Crossface, but Maff powers up and hits the Burning Hammer at 6:50. Rave’s character was interesting at this point because he was a babyface who was too stupid and naïve to win matches. He played it well. **1/4

  • In the back, AJ scolds Rave for not taking advantage of Maff while he had an opening.
  • Dan McDevitt of Maryland Championship Wrestling puts over ROH.
  • Special Challenge: Raven vs. Justin Credible.
    Justin looks really winded early in this match, which is odd because Raven looks more out of shape. Lovey mentions that Raven is great friends with Tommy Dreamer, which is surreal. Justin goes after Raven’s leg for a while, but he accidentally crotches himself. The ref gets bumped during Raven’s comeback, but Justin’s attempt to use a chair backfires. Raven finishes with the Evenflow DDT at 7:56. Pretty standard. Like something they would have done on Heat. **

  • Four-Way: Xavier vs. John Walters vs. Homicide (w/Julius Smokes) vs. Mark Briscoe.
    Xavier makes the mistake of slapping a guy named “Homicide.” Oddly enough, the big issue is between Xavier and John Walters, not the two guys that actually became big stars in ROH. And no, Xavier’s fluke title reign in 2002-03 doesn’t make him a big star. Speaking of Xavier, they start in with the “is he in the Prophecy or not?” line. Mark wrestles much of the match, and he actually does so without too much stupidity. He still does high-impact, but it’s grounded. Walters does a goofy half-crab/Gory stretch combo on Xavier and Mark, but Homicide breaks it up after sprinting laps. They do the requisite dives to the floor and NOW Mark does the SSP to the floor. And now we HIT THE ALL-JAPAN! Everyone hits their finishes, but there’s always someone there to save. Mark gets knocked out with the Cop Killa. Finally, Xavier is able to go low and hit Kiss Your X Goodbye on Walters to pick up the win at 16:41. This is the kind of clusterfuckery that was synonymous with ROH in the early 00’s. It’s like they absorbed all of the signature segments of each promotion (New Japan opening swagger, Lucha Libre diving spots, All Japan kickouts) and just tried to throw them together. All of that makes for pretty good parts, but the sum isn’t as fantastic as a real, organic match. **3/4

  • ROH World Title: Samoa Joe vs. Jay Briscoe.
    Joe is angry about not winning, but that doesn’t mean he loses it. In fact, he takes it to the mat early and just toys with Jay. HE’S LIKE A BIG BEAR, MAN! Jay drags things to the floor, but Joe Ole kicks him against the barricade. Back inside, Jay hits a DDT and a Death Valley Driver, but Joe kicks out. Dragon Suplex, but Jay kicks out. Island Driver, but Jay kicks out. Joe finally gets really pissed, yanks Jay up by his straps and LEVELS him with the lariat to pick up the win at 15:03. The match told a great story with Joe casually (and arrogantly) killing Jay only to have Jay survive and throw everything he has at Joe “Rocky”-style. Of course, it wasn’t enough because Joe is Godzilla and Jay is just some poor Japanese businessman standing in the street. ***

  • After the match, Mark Briscoe objects to the rough treatment Jay got, so Joe waits until he turns his back, clocks him with the enzuigiri and chokes him out.
  • Christopher Daniels triangulates between his feuds with Samoa Joe, CM Punk and Steve Corino. Clearly, Punk ripped his post-title win speech from this promo. Daniels reminds everyone that he’s the real draw for ROH.
  • John Walters rips Xavier for cheating and wants a rematch. He says Xavier hasn’t earned respect.
  • Elsewhere (as in six feet to the left), Kashmere walks out on Trent Acid.
  • Xavier calls for a tag match between Walters/Mamaluke and himself & a mystery partner.
  • The Briscoes promise that the war with Samoa Joe is on!
  • The 411: Fairly typical 2003 show with a lot of varied styles of wrestling and some good angle advancement. I really liked the Briscoes vs. Joe feud because it was something different from mainstream pro-wrestling, and it served to solidify the Briscoes as ROH tag team legends. The show itself feels like a stylistic hodgepodge, something that many will find schizophrenic, but it's something that today's ROH is sorely lacking.

    Mild thumbs up.

    Final Score:  6.5   [ Average ]  legend

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