Silly stipulation of the night: the ROH Tag Team Titles are on the line in each match of the round robin.
May 15, 2004
From Lexington, Mass.
Your hosts are Chris Lovey and "wrestling historian" Mark Nulty.
Allison Danger is dysphoric because Christopher Daniels is out of ROH. But he has given them marching orders – win the ROH tag titles and get revenge on the Second City Saints.
Elsewhere, Prince Nana recruits The Outkast Killas into his stable. The Carnage Crew accuse the Killas of crapping in their bags.
Colt Cabana films a PSA and then CM Punk comes in to shoot their promo.
Opening Match, ROH Tag Team Titles, Round Robin Challenge #1: The Prophecy (w/Allison Danger) vs. The Second City Saints.
Big brawl to start because the two teams hate each other. Whitmer took out Punk's girlfriend at Daniels' behest, so the Saints put Daniels out of ROH. This rarely resembles a match and looks more like a street fight throughout. Allison Danger jumps on Punk, but he throws her down. Punk and Colt decide they'd rather just take the countout and leave. Oh, but Ricky Steamboat blocks their path. Colt runs right into the Wrist-Clutch Exploder from Whitmer at 7:05. Good brawl, and a good opportunity for Punk haters to see some much-deserved justice meted out to the straight-edger. **1/2
Steamboat stops to soak up some adulation, so Punk and Cabana beat him down. And *no one* saves?
The Prophecy is busy celebrating, so Punk and Cabana put Ricky Steamboat through a table (actually, gravity did that first, but Punk hit the legdrop anyway).
Alex Shelley vs. Matt Stryker.
Lovey puts over Shelley's involvement in the next show Generation Next, although Shelley's involvement would be far different than first anticipated. Shelley gets to work it on the mat, something he was actually known for. He does it with a lot more flair than Stryker, but Stryker was the bigger name at this point. Shelley gets a flash rollup and gets the pin at 7:03, although Paul Turner messes up the count. Some good mat wrestling, but ultimately an empty exhibition. **
Elsewhere, the Briscoe Bros. fire Jim Cornette.
The Carnage Crew & The Ringcrew Express vs. The Outkast Killas, Prince Nana & Josh Daniels.
Just to show you that torture is not effective, no one will tell the Carnage Crew who shit in their bags despite their threat to continue wrestling. The RCE work in their air guitar on the opponent spot. Daniels does his Dynamite impression. Nana stands around in his disturbingly short trunks. The Killas wrestle most of the match, which is fine. Devito plants one of them with the powerbomb, though, and gets the win at 8:04. Meh. Just filler. *1/2
Non-Title: Samoa Joe vs. Ricky Reyes (w/Julius Smokes.
So in the Joe vs. Homicide match, someone turned out the lights and Homicide lit a fireball in Joe's face. Smokes reveals it was Reyes who turned out the lights, and Ricky is now a Rottweiler. Joe and Homicide brawl out to the ring, and Ricky jumps Joe from behind to start the match. Lots of stiff kicks from Reyes and some faux UFC stuff. Joe eventually gets pissed and shrugs it off. Now, Joe is throwing kicks. Great moment as Ricky thinks he's going to do a facewash, but Joe just stands up and slaps him down like a bitch. Reyes tries to choke him out with a Triangle Choke, but it's all Joe after that. Joe does the powerbomb into the STF and slingshots Reyes' neck on the ropes. LARIAT! Reyes tries to come back with strikes, but Joe just grabs him and drops him with the Island Driver at 9:52. I like seeing Joe in this style much more than watching him squash cruiserweights. Hard-hitting strikes are fun to watch (see BattleArts) and, done properly, won't injure people. **3/4
CM Punk and Colt Cabana come out to complain that Cabana's shoulders were not down in the first match. Punk promises to take the titles back.
ROH Tag Team Titles, Round Robin Challenge #2: BJ Whitmer & Dan Maff (w/Allison Danger) vs. The Briscoe Bros.
If the Briscoes win, the titles are on the line in the last match of the round robin. If the Prophecy retains, the last match is a #1 contenders match. The Briscoes are the faces here. Jay plays your face-in-peril. It's pretty standard until Mark tries to springboard into something and just falls flat on his face. D'oh! Mark assumes the face-in-peril role. Pretty boring stuff as the Prophecy tries to do a straight-up match, and that's just not their game. Mark eventually gets a flukish rollup on Maff to pick up the win and the titles at 13:24. See, this is one place where it would make sense to do interference from the Saints. The match was boring when it wasn't sloppy. **
Spanky is proud to return to ROH.
Elsewhere, Maff is despondent, but Allison Danger tells him they'll be riding high by the end of the night. Hmmm.
Josh Daniels (w/Prince Nana) vs. Dixie (w/Special K).
This is part of a more serious trend for Special K which would eventually lead to them splitting up and having varying degrees of success. Ox Baker wanders down to help out Dixie. I don't see that lasting long. Daniels drops Dixie on his neck a lot and finishes with the Fisherman's Buster at 4:52. After the match, Ox offers his help, but Special K is rightly freaked out by him. Just a squash to put Daniels over. No idea what the Ox Baker stuff is about. *
Six-Man Mayhem: John Walters vs. Trent Acid vs. Roderick Strong vs. Izzy (w/Special K) vs. Masada vs. Hydro (w/also with Special K).
Nulty says Becky is one Twinkie away from being Tammy Sytch. Now that's just mean. Lucha formula early with several exhibition-y pairup sequences so they can establish their styles. It breaks down with Roderick hitting Walters with move after move as Izzy grabs some sort of submission on Trent. Hydro (Jay Lethal) gets a sick Spider German on Masada. Then, oddly, it goes back to a normal match. Trent nails Hydro with the reverse brainbuster, and Izzy hits the springboard somersault plancha on the other guys. Back in, Izzy tries for a reverse huracanrana, but Walters jumps him with the lungblower. Izzy and Hydro set up for a double superplex, but Walters fights them off and drops Izzy with a Super Dominator to pick up the win at 12:32. Just a bunch of guys showcasing their stuff in lieu of a match. **1/2
Homicide (w/Julius Smokes) vs. Spanky.
This match has the widest gap in terms of threatening names. Homicide actually does try to wrestle a normal match, even though this is during his loose cannon phase. That doesn't work much for him, so he ducks to the floor and throws in a chair. Submission wrestling from Homicide, and he forces Spanky to flip off the crowd. The crowd gets on Homicide's case, causing him to flip out. He goes up but stops to jaw with the fans, so Spanky dropkicks him to the floor. Back in, Homicide gets two off a Tiger Bomb, but Spanky flips out of the Cop Killah and fights off Smokes to hit a picture-perfect elbow. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Sliced Bread #2, but Smokes pulls the ref out before the three. Somehow that's not a DQ, so Homicide hits the Ace Crusher and finishes with a lariat at 16:15. Good way to reintroduce Spanky while not stunting Homicide's momentum. It also showed that Homicide is willing to cheat to win and he doesn't care about honor. ***1/4
After the match, Homicide calls out Samoa Joe, and the Rottweilers pounce on him.
ROH Tag Team Titles, Round Robin Challenge #3: The Briscoe Bros. vs. The Second City Saints.
Lovey, who said it was highly unlikely that the Prophecy would lose the titles after winning them an hour earlier, says that it's unlikely that the Briscoes will lose the titles. Nulty calls him on it too. All night long, the announcers have been complaining about the heat in the arena, and it plays in this match. Colt is already sweating before the bell, and five minutes in it looks like they've been going thirty. Mark injures his ribs on a Stinger Splash and plays face-in-peril as the Saints work in the old-school heel tactics. Cabana accidentally backdrops Punk over the top to the floor, though, and Jay gets the hot tag. He rolls up Cabana like he did Maff, but Cabana kicks out at two. Punk recovers and saves Cabana with a Shining Wizard. Mark hits the Shooting Star, but his ribs are too hurt to cover. Punk goes for the Pepsi Plunge, but Mark shoves him to the floor. Colt catches Mark with a gutbuster and finishes him with the frogsplash at 19:14. Both sides played clear faces and heels, so this was the best of the series. We're back where we started, which is kind of silly, but I like the Saints with the belts, so it works for me. ***1/2
After the match, Maff & Whitmer attack both teams. Punk stands in the ring gloating until Ricky Steamboat returns to get some righteous revenge! STEAMBOAT! STEAMBOAT! STEAMBOAT!
In the back, Alex Shelley talks about his series with Matt Stryker and jokes that he should have given him a box of razor blades and let him book his own ending. Shelley promises a big surprise on May 22. Turns out he's been palling around with Roderick Strong. Hmm.
Elsewhere, Allison Danger gives Maff a pep talk. Maff vows allegiance to the Prophecy
The 411: Much like the arena heat, this show just sort of saps the life from you slowly. The last two matches are good, but they're not good enough to justify the first two hours or so. The Round Robin was disappointing compared to years past.