Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — One Year Anniversary Show Posted by J.D. Dunn on 05.30.2006
RoH celebrates its first year with the final Briscoe Brothers match, the dissolution of the original Prophecy, and a straight-edged challenge.
Ring of Honor — One Year Anniversary Show (02.08.03)
From Queens, New York.
Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Lovey.
We open in the streets with Low Ki recounting the last year and talking about the Code of Honor. This leads to a lengthy video recap of 2002's big events. There are also full clips throughout the show. First, we see Low Ki winning at The Era of Honor Begins only to have Christopher Daniels shun the Code of Honor.
Elsewhere, Paul London arrives and displays his promo skills. He promises to go home with some gold.
Opening Match: Chad Collyer vs. EZ Money vs. Michael Shane vs. Colt Cabana.
Collyer and Money pair off for some quick stuff before tagging out. Cabana gets a quebrada bodyblock on Shane and works his arm. EZ Money comes in and gets a Pendulum Swing on Collyer. Money and Collyer exchange cross-arm clutches. Shane and Collyer form an unspoken alliance, isolating Money. Money hits an enzuigiri and a horrible handspring elbow. Shane puts Money on top, but Money drops him with a front superplex. Cabana finally gets the hot tag and cleans house on Collyer. He hits the Schwein Neckbreaker on Collyer and a double-arm suplex on Shane. Money sneaks back in and hits Cabana with a cradle piledriver. They work in the spot where everyone dives out on one another, ending with Shane nailing Money with a somersault plancha. Back in, Collyer German Suplexes Cabana. Shane tries to sneak in with a flying bodypress, but Cabana sees him coming and counters to an Ace Crusher. Shane misses the Picture-Perfect Elbow but hits Sweet Shane Music. Collyer jumps him from behind and puts him in the Texas Cloverleaf. Shane makes the ropes, enabling Money to sneak in and hit the Cha-Ching (Variation of the Orange Crush) at 15:18. **1/4
Flashback time: Tommy Dreamer shows up out of nowhere and puts over Ring of Honor. Michael Shane double-crosses London, so Dreamer has to give him the DDT.
AJ Styles arrives at the arena. He doesn't think it will be easy, but his objective is to get the title away from the Prophecy.
Fast Eddie, Don Juan & Hotstuff Hernandez (w/Rudy Boy Gonzales) vs. The Carnage Crew.
Masada has returned for the Carnage Crew to make it a three-man team. This is Hernandez's debut. All of the babyfaces are part of the Texas Wrestling Academy. The TWA guys clean house on Masada. Finally, Don Juan gets caught in the wrong corner. Masada busts out Rolling Northern Lights (in theory). The CC actually work quite well together, but their gimmick reeks of desperation. Juan avoids a moonsault and makes the hot tag to Hotstuff. Hotstuff cleans house on the CC and sends them to the floor. The CC gets desperate and uses their hubcaps for the DQ at 5:41. The Crew destroy the TWA guys and give Fast Eddie a Spiked Piledriver as an exclamation point. Rudy Boy jumps in and takes a chairshot. Who should make the save, but the Christopher Street Connection! BUFF E'S BACK! They clear the ring and hit the Gay Basher on Loc. *
Flashback time: The Briscoe Brothers go toe-to-toe in Boston. Mark comes out on top after a MOTYC.
Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Briscoe
Mark and Jay had always been at odds because Mark was too young to wrestle in Pennsylvania. He was, therefore, jealous of Jay and made fun of him for losing. Jay finally had enough of Mark and challenged him to a match at Honor Invades Boston, but Mark busted his own brother open and beat him cleanly. To add insult to injury, Mark joined the Prophecy, aligning himself with Jay's enemy Christopher Daniels. However, after one of the Briscoes' best friends died in a car accident, Mark began to rethink things and dropped out of the Prophecy. This is the final match between the two as they've agreed to dedicate the match to their friend and become a tag team after the match. They trade hammerlocks, and Jay gets a Yakuza Kick early. Mark looks to be out cold, so Jay backs off. Of course, it was all a ruse, and Mark heelpicks Jay. The advantage doesn't last long, though, as Jay hits a flying leg lariat and wins a slugfest. Mark counters the Jaydriller to a backdrop, but Jay comes back with a wicked uranage. Mark hits a running corner lariat, but a second attempt meets a Yakuza Kick. Mark peppers Jay with chops, but Jay takes him over the top with a Cactus Clothesline. They slug it out on the floor, and Mark sends Jay into the post, busting him open again. Mark goes up top and hits a moonsault from the top rope to the floor! Back in, Mark walks right into a thrust kick and gets hit with a press backbreaker. Mark responds with a Shining Wizard in the corner and the Springboard Ace Crusher! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Jay slips out of the Cutthroat Driver and goes for another Jaydriller, but Mark counters to a Waterwheel Slam (Alabama Slam). Mark tries another Springboard Ace Crusher, but Jay counters to his own in mid-air! Nice. Jay hits a HUGE Yakuza Kick, and it looks Mark really is out this time. Jay drops Mark with a Lygerbomb and squashes him with a Senton off the top. He takes too long trying to capitalize, though, and runs into a Sambo Suplex. Mark hits the Jaydriller! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Jay rolls out of the way of a moonsault and hits ROLLING JAYDRILLERS! Three of them are enough to finish of Mark at 16:40. This lacked the clearly-defined roles of Honor Invades Boston, but these two still can put on a great show. After the match, they hug and shake hands. ***3/4
Outside, Da Hit Squad cuts a promo from the top of a building. They mistakenly say it is one year to the day from the start of Ring of Honor, but it's about 15 days short.
Flashback Time: The much-loved Matrix sequence between Red & Low Ki at "Road to the Title."
Homicide blames Corino for costing him the #1 contendership and promises to send him to the hospital.
Homicide vs. Steve Corino (w/Simply Luscious & Samoa Joe).
Ah yes. *This* match. This is more notable for the post-match hijinx rather than the match itself. Homicide and Corino were defeated by the invading Backseat Boyz. Corino blamed Homicide and turned on him, so Homicide forked him in the eye. Then, and "Final Battle," Corino attacked Homicide and knocked him out of the #1 contender's match. Corino gets on the mic and rips the crowd. He also introduces "the Group's" newest members — Michael Shane and C.W. Anderson! Of course, Anderson was fired early last year, but Corino's a rebel, so he's brought him back. Homicide finally gets sick of Corino droning on and cheapshots him. He gets a belly-to-belly for two and locks in the STF. Corino comes back with a crossface, but Homicide is in the ropes. We get several foreshadowing shots of the crowd having words with CW Anderson. Homicide drop toeholds Corino into the turnbuckle and gives him the Facewash. Corino blocks a huracanrana and drops Homicide with the Bulldog. Samoa Joe is now getting into it with the fans. Homicide hits a Top Rope Ace Crusher for two. He blocks a boot and hits a lariat for two. Homcide drops Corino with a reverse DDT, accidentally bumping the ref. Homicide springs off the ref's back into a Shining Wizard on Corino, but it only gets two. To the outside, Homicide sets Corino in a chair and tries a tope, but Corino ducks out of the way. The Group rolls his body into the ring, and Corino gets two. Corino gets Old School Expulsion (the Reverse Twist of Fate) for two. The Northern Lights Bomb gets two more. Corino finally locks in the shinni no make for the submission at 12:09. After the match, the Group taunts the crowd, and Corino slaps the shinni no make on Homicide again. That leads to some fans jumping the rail and going after Corino. Homicide (who is supposed to be out), suddenly jumps up and trips up the fan. Joe takes out another fan. That leads to the locker room clearing to maintain "order." Rob Feinstein jerks Michael Shane off…of someone, prompting a war of words between Shane and Feinstein. Devito is hilarious, grinning at the camera and saying, "I fuckin' love this shit." Feinstein scolds Homicide, leading to Homicide having to be pulled away from him by Da Hit Squad. This drags on for about fifteen minutes before order is restored. There are a lot of people who maintain that this was a shoot riot, but there were a number of things that tip it as a work. 1) It's professional wrestling. 2) It made the video release for a reason. 3) When the locker room clears, mortal enemies Buff E and Loc can be seen teaming up to take out a fan. It's a little convenient that, in all the chaos, they would wind up next to one another so the cameraman could get a shot of them. 4) The same angle was repeated for the next several shows. 5) These were all Homicide trainees. So, hopefully that puts an end to that. *
Flashback Time: Chris Daniels & Donovan Morgan team up to beat American Dragon & Michael Modest to become the first tag team champions.
Christopher Daniels asks how Corino can call their feud "just business" when Corino used his personal relationships with Simply Luscious and Samoa Joe to lure them away from the Prophecy. Daniels dares him to make the first move.
Flashback Time: At "Crowning a Champion," Low Ki survives a one-hour marathon match to win the first RoH Title.
The Outcast Killaz vs. The Ringcrew Express. CW Anderson interrupts before the match and claims he's a good ol' southern boy who single-handedly kicked 30 New Yorkers' asses. He tells all four of the participants to clear out or face the consequences. They refuse, so he destroys all four guys. [NR]
After the asskicking, Anderson challenges anyone in the building to a match. Who should answer, but C.M. Punk. Punk says no one gives a shit about South Carolina.
CM Punk vs. CW Anderson.
Anderson is actually replacing Tom Carter (the former "Reckless Youth") who was in a car accident on the way to the arena. Anderson and Punk actually put together a nice little low-risk match with Anderson zeroing in on Punk's arm. The announcers talk about how Anderson "went off the script" at Night of the Butcher. Did no one learn anything from Vince Russo? They chop it out, and Anderson hits a superplex. They fight over a suplex; that's won by Punk. Punk gets a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker for two. The Shining Wizard gets two. Punk gets fired up but runs right into a superkick. Anderson goes for the spinebuster, but Punk slips over his shoulder into a sunset flip for the win at 9:42. **1/2
Flashback Time: Paul London defeats Michael Shane in an incredible street fight.
"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe.
This is a rematch from their "Revenge on the Prophecy" slugfest. Joe immediately gains an advantage, winning an overhand knucklelock. He turns Danielson over into a Half Crab, but Bryan rolls through to a side leglock. Danielson takes Joe down and tries to keep him grounded with an Indian Deathlock/Butterfly combination. Joe counters to a Boston Crab, but they're near the ropes. Joe catches Danielson with an STO and puts him in a bow-and-arrow. Joe nearly knocks him out with a kick and then goes into his powerbomb/STF combination. Danielson makes the ropes, but Joe starts unloading the strikes, knocking Danielson back to his knees. Danielson comes back with a pair of enzuigiris to knock Joe down, finally. Dragon misses a swing, and Joe German Suplexes him for two. FACEWASH! Danielson catches Joe going up and gives him a superplex. Joe avoids a Roaring Elbow and knees Dragon in the head. He ducks another and knees Danielson in the head. Sensing things are over, Joe calmly tries to pick up Danielson's prone body, but Danielson was just goldbricking and small packages Joe for the win at 15:12. This was like a template for every big Joe match in RoH and TNA to follow. Joe's offense is a cannon while his opponent is armed with a crossbow. From there, it's just a matter of Joe rattling off blast after blast while his opponent (in this case, Danielson) has to try to hit more precisely and more cautiously, hoping to wear the big guy down. In this match, Danielson was able to transition back and forth between survival mode and offense. Also, the match does little to diminish Joe's reputation as he dominated on the last show but was beaten in a fluke here. ***3/4
Xavier and Alison Danger come down to brag about his title reign. Xavier says he's out to scout the #1 Contender's Triple Threat.
#1 Contender's Triple Threat: Paul London vs. AJ Styles vs. Low Ki.
London takes a double Mongolian Stomp but ducks AJ's dropkick. AJ comes back in with a slingshot elbow that cuts off the Krush Kombo. London hits both guys with a dropsault. He tries a tope, but Low Ki cuts him off with a Kappou Kick. AJ and Low Ki brawl on the outside, so London climbs to the top and frogsplashes them. Back in, London gets two off an Oklahoma Roll. Styles comes back in and gets his backbreaker/stomachbreaker combo on Low Ki. London sneaks in and hits AJ with a missile dropkick. London gets Rolling Northern Lights Suplexes and finishes the sequence with a Bridging Fallaway for two. Low Ki breaks it up and hits another Kappou Kick on London. AJ avoids a charge and hits AJ with an enzuigiri. AJ goes for his Quebrada DDT, but Low Ki counters with a kick. Low Ki grabs a hanging choke on London, so Styles quebradas into a DDT, putting both of them down. Poor London. AJ puts him in a vertical Indian Deathlock while Low Ki starts firing away with kicks to his exposed chest. They work in one of those convoluted spots as Low Ki puts AJ in the Dragon Clutch while AJ reaches back and cinches Ki's head with a neckbreaker. Ki blocks an AJ charge with a thrust kick and then springboards into a rolling kick for two. He rams AJ's neck into the corner with the Krush Rush, but London makes the save. London sets Styles on top and suplexes Ki up to him. Styles goes for the Super Styles Clash, but Ki ranas him in mid-air down to London, who was waiting for him with a powerbomb for two. Ki rolls through AJ's facebuster into the Dragon Clutch. London makes the save again. London sets up for an Inverted Tornado DDT on Styles, but Low Ki breaks it up with the Tidal Wave. All three guys fight on top, and Ki hits the Ki Krusher off the top on Styles! Both guys are out of it, so London comes off the top with the SSP on Styles for the win at 19:12. The fans chant "Match of the Year," but that's a little generous. ***1/2
Although the Scramble Match was supposed to go on next, Xavier tells London he'll have to face him now if he wants his title shot.
Ring of Honor Championship: Xavier (w/Alison Danger) vs. Paul London.
Xavier jumps London from behind, but Paul comes back with a series of armdrags and a corner forearm. A spinning wheel kick puts Xavier down, but London can't even get up for a dropsault. Alison Danger trips London up, bringing down Alexis Laree to brawl with her. Xavier breaks it up, but Laree stays behind to keep an eye on Alison. London targets the arm, but Xavier counters his Tornado Armbreaker to a German Suplex to take back the advantage. London blocks the Cobra Clutch Suplex and pushes them both over (like Austin-Hart) and gets two. London charges, but Xavier sidesteps and tosses London through the timekeeper's table. To the outside, Xavier whips London into the railing, busting him open. Xavier wipes up his blood and draws a bloody "X" on his own chest. Xavier drops London right on his head with a Cobra Clutch Suplex. It only gets two. London suddenly makes his big comeback with a springboard forearm. He frontslams Xavier in anticipation for the SSP, but Xavier bails. That doesn't dissuade London, though. He hits a roundhouse crossbody from the top to the floor! Back in, London gets a quebrada for two, but Xavier goes low to turn the tide. Alison Danger accidentally trips up Xavier, though. She pulls Xavier to the outside for a breather. London tries a tope, but Xavier pulls Alison in the way! London winds up smashing her into the railing. Xavier tries to spear London from behind, but London sidesteps him, and Xavier takes out Danger! Back in, London hits his Legsweep DDT, but it only gets two. Xavier catches him going up, and they brawl on top. London pushes him back into the ring, and hits the SHOOTING STAR PRESS! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Alison pulls Xavier to the outside to avoid the loss. Alexis jumps in and destroys Alison. It's too late, though. Xavier shoves London back in and hits Kiss Your X Goodbye! The 450-Splash gets…two?! London counters the X-Breaker to a small package for two. He rolls Xavier up again, but Xavier reverses with a handful of tights for the win at 19:25. This is unheralded because it's much more of a WWE-style match than RoH. London gave a hell of a performance in his two matches, though, and these two had much better chemistry than I thought they would. ***3/4
Flashback Time: Eddy Guerrero and The Amazing Red team up for "Night of Appreciation."
Scramble Madness: Da Hit Squad, The Maximos, Devine Storm & Mikey Whipwreck (w/Trinity) vs. Special K (w/Slugga).
Finally, I get a consensus on the spelling of Chris Devine's last name. That was like Rotunda/Rotundo. The announcers warn us not to look for psychology and matwork, but we will get spots. I did not need to be told that. Dixie starts with Quiet Storm and gives him a hug. Is the ring different tonight, because everyone looks positively tiny in there? Funny spot follows as Deranged asks for a test of strength with Monsta Mack, but then he tickles his belly, and Mack cracks up like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Mack responds with the TITTY TWISTER! Whipwreck lights up Slim J with chops. Special K works in their quintuple dive. Even Slugga can't believe it. Back in, the Maximos team up for a Tornado DDT. Things go back and forth for a while before Whipwreck comes face to face with all the members of Special K. Suddenly, Mikey turns on his trainees and starts hitting Whippersnappers (Stone Cold Stunners)! Trinity demands to know what he's thinking, so Slugga crawls in and gives the Body Bag. Slugga and Mikey carry her to the back. Quiet Storm comes back with the Canadian Destroyer on Slim J. They, of course, work in the trainwreck spot as all 12 guys fight in the corner and are suplexed, Russian leg sweeped, DDTd, powerbombed, and huracanranad back into the ring. Everyone starts hitting finisher after finisher without getting the pin. This goes on for nearly ten minutes! Finally, Mafia finishes with a SUPER BURNING HAMMER at 33:46. Well, it delivered what it promised, plus it had the Whipwreck turn. ***1/4
Christopher Daniels stands by to say he was happy for Steve Corino when he won the ECW and NWA Titles. He tells Corino if he wants a war to fire the first shot.
In the back, AJ Styles approaches Paul London and says they should consider going after the RoH Tag Titles together.
CM Punk talks about having respect for everyone in Ring of Honor (even Colt Cabana). He says he is proud to be part of RoH. However, he doesn't respect someone who is coming in to RoH — Raven. Raven goes against everything he believes in — integrity, honor, pride, a drug-free life. As a result, he's challenging Raven to a match at "Expect the Unexpected." Because he's straight-edge, he's better than Raven.
Raven responds. He says that he used to be like Punk. The old-timers used to hate him. He says he's in the best shape of his life. He doesn't think Punk has what it takes to take a walk on the dark side.
Even Ring of Honor is not impervious to the "cake rule" as Rob Feinstein gets a facefull…of cake.
The 411: This is another one of those cases of too much of a good thing. At nearly 4 hours (!), it could use a good trimming. The riot took up nearly half an hour with all the replays. But, otherwise, it was four hours of solid wrestling and angle development. Plus, it had the seeds of the Punk vs. Raven feud that would be RoH's top singles feud in 2003.
Easy thumbs up, but be prepared to clear your calendar to watch this one.