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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Wrath of the Racket
Posted by J.D. Dunn on 06.05.2007



Ring of Honor — Wrath of the Racket
by J.D. Dunn

  • August 9, 2003

  • From Dayton, Ohio.

  • Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Lovey.


  • "Lucy" films the backstage shenanigans of Colt Cabana and Ace Steel. See, the joke is that Shannon Ward had already signed with the WWE, so someone is behind the camera pretending to be Lucy. Colt and Ace find Homicide and Julius Smokes rolling bones, but Colt can't an answer as to what the Field of Honor is.

  • AJ Styles says he's not sure he respects the Prophecy the way he respected the Briscoes and wonders about the condition of his partner Red. The Amazing Red assures AJ that his leg is fine and he's good to go.

  • Opening Match: The Spanish Announce Team vs. The Carnage Crew vs. Deranged & Hydro (w/Special K) vs. Fast Eddie & Don Juan.
    Masada is subbing for Devito in the Carnage Crew, thus cutting the bodyfat level by 50-percent…and the talent level by 75-percent. Awkward start between Jose Maximo and Fast Eddie as Jose appears to miss Eddie with a kick, but Eddie sells anyway. What in the hell is Don Juan thinking with that haircut? Eddie tries a rana on Joel, but Hydro springboards in with a Tornado Doomsday DDT. Nice. The match breaks down as Deranged hits a Code Red on Jose. Loc comes in with that Swinging Flatliner that seems so en vogue. The SAT catch Deranged midair and pendulum him into a facebuster. The Texas Wrestling Academy boys do a neat fallaway slam/neckbreaker combo. Hydro goes up but gets enzuigiried by Joel. The SAT hit him with the Spanish Fly, but the TWA guys take them out before they can get a pin. Awkward finish with Deranged springboarding into a rana on Loc but not quite clearing him. Loc sells it anyway, and Angel Dust adds an assist from the outside to give Special K the win at 9:04. They tried a number of crazy moves, and hit about half of them. Definitely not boring, though. Special K tries to start an impromptu rave. **

  • Jim Cornette interrupts Special K's rave and unloads his cache of scrawny jokes. He wants to introduce his new tag team – Dunn & Marcos! Well, no. As much as Dunn & Marcos want to be in the Corny business, Cornette announces his new team is…The Prophecy! The Prophecy destroys the Ringcrew Express with an array of Midnight Express moves, and Cornette adds a racket shot.

  • BJ Whitmer talks about breaking into ROH and how he used to go to watch wrestling in Cincinnati. Tonight, he gets his shot at the ROH World Title.

  • HWA Title #1 Contender: Nigel McGuinness vs. Chet Jablonski (w/Brock Guffman).
    Since ROH is coming into Les Thatcher's territory, they're showcasing HWA talent. This is for a shot at Chad Collyer's HWA Title. Chet's heel manager puts over ROH. "Chet Jablonski" is the perfect name for a heel in a 1980's teen comedy. Starring William Zabka as "Chet Jablonski." Anyway, Nigel doesn't have much ring presence here, and he looks pretty scrawny compared to today. Jablonski utilizes a number of power moves, which should have assured him a spot in the WWE. Not sure what happened. Nigel outwrestles him early, though. Chet powers out of a surfboard and gets two off a Fisherman's Northern Lights. He follows it up with a sort of Emerald Frosion for two. The senton misses, and Nigel rolls him up and bridges for the win at 6:43. Each guy kind of did their own thing with no regard for how it worked into the match. Nigel had the moveset down, but he's really progress well. **

  • Homicide (w/Julius Smokes) vs. Chris Sabin.
    Sabin unleashes his wide variety of armdrags. He blocks a Tornado DDT and the Ace Crusher and hits Cradle Shock for two. Homicide isn't really getting much, which Lovey explains by saying he's looking forward to guys like Maff, Corino and Samoa Joe. Sabin hits a flying kick and a brainbuster for two. Finally, Homicide crotches Sabin on the top to take over. He hits a sloppy rana for two. Sabin rolls through a crossbody and hits a uranage backbreaker for two. Homicide goes low and finishes with the Cop Killer at 9:02. Homicide looked disinterested until the finish. **

  • Ace Steel & Colt Cabana vs. Alex Shelley & Jimmy Jacobs.
    Shelley was still the happy-go-lucky babyface here, and Jimmy was not yet a psychotic emo. A psychotic Bruiser Brody-wannabe, yes, but not an emo. Shelley and Jacobs dominate early with their highflying moves. Of course, Colt and Ace weren't exactly sweating these two as they wandered through the back goofing off. Ace blind tags himself in and dropkicks Shelley in the back so the Saints can take over. Ace hits a slingshot suplex and starts stomping Shelley around. Punishment continues as Colt stretches Shelley's crotch against the bottom rope. Shelley gets out of trouble with a DDT/swinging neckbreaker on both Saints. Jacobs gets the hot tag and hits a pair of neckbreakers. Shelley joins him and hits a running knee in the corner. Ace shoves him off the top into a SICKENING Cabana German Suplex. They try the same thing with Jacobs, but Jimmy counters to a huracanrana on Colt. He goes for a superplex, but Ace counters to a Super Spinal Shock. That leaves Shelley alone with both Saints, and they finish him with a neckbreaker/Colt .45 at 11:18. Shelley and Jacobs looked like the future stars they were. Shelley is incredibly smooth in the ring, something he doesn't always get to showcase in TNA. **3/4

  • Matt Stryker vs. Justin Credible.
    Credible gives Stryker a handshake and then the double bird. Now where's the honor in that? Probably time for some actual tights too because the cutoff jeans are sooooo 1997. Justin pretends that Stryker punched him with a closed fist as the ref is separating them in the corner. Then, when the ref has to separate them again, Credible gives Stryker a cheap shot. Credible takes a hike and threatens to walk out because he's being disrespected, so Stryker chases him down and brings him back to the ring. They exchange chops, and Credible runs away again. Stryker follows him out into the crowd. You know, there are places where you should do an all-over-the-arena brawl. This ain't it. Justin gets busted open and offers a handshake back in the ring. Stryker doesn't fall for it but misses a charge to the corner. Justin settles into a chinlock to kill time and give Stryker the opportunity to do the big comeback. Justin works in his sliding crotch spot in the corner. Doesn't work as well with those ROH turnbuckle pads. Stryker hits a big boot and a quebrada but jumps right into a superkick. Stryker rolls through a crossbody for two and ducks another superkick. Justin hits That's Incredible, but it only gets one! He goes for it again, but Stryker counters to the DVD for the win at 11:31. Better than I though it would be. Stryker adopted more of a traditional babyface style as opposed to the dispassionate technical wrestler that he had been earlier in the year. **3/4

  • Earlier, Christopher Daniels explained that he brought in Jim Cornette to advise them on their tag title match later tonight. Cornette's style is so off from the Prophecy, which is probably why it didn't last. Corny says he has an idea.

  • Elsewhere, Colt Cabana asks Chris Sabin how many chicks Colt will hook up with since Sabin is "The Future." He also asks what the Field of Honor is, but Sabin just knows that he was invited and nothing else.

  • During an autograph signing, the Prophecy and Jim Cornette attack the SAT and the Amazing Red and leave them laying. As a result, Red won't be able to wrestle tonight. Christopher Daniels needed Cornette for that plan? ROH officials would punish Daniels for this by making him face fellow (former) Prophecy stablemate Xavier.

  • Four-Corner Survival: Slyk Wagner Brown (w/April Hunter) vs. Hotstuff Hernandez vs. Scoot Andrews vs. Michael Shane.
    YES! They should have invited Slyk Wagner Brown to every show just to get April Hunter. Michael Shane starts with Hotstuff, and this is the poorest of poor man's Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels match-ups. Shane's chop is no-sold, and Mike tries to tag out, but neither Scoot nor Slyk will oblige. Man, how far did Shane fall?! This guy was a huge heel only a year earlier. Here, he's a non-entity. Hotstuff blocks his sunset flip and counters to a double-choke overhead suplex. Slyk tags in and shows why he's not invited to every show, botching at least two moves during his sequence with Scoot. Shane tags back in but takes a Waterwheel Slam from Scoot. Things slow down considerably as Michael Shane puts the match in the deep freeze with a figure-four headscissors and then a chinlock. Hotstuff tags back in and hits a spiral bomb on Scoot. They work in a Taffy Machine spot in the ropes with everyone grabbing submission holds. Scoot does a DDT/Flatliner with Slyk adding a legdrop off the top. Hey, gotta band together against the Man. A Hotstuff kickout sends Shane all the way to the floor, and Slyk nearly cuts himself in half as he lands on the guardrail on a moonsault. Hotstuff adds his over-the-top plancha and the Border Toss. Shane ducks a swing and hits a superkick, and Slyk hits a Lesnar-ish Shooting Star Press. Scoot hits the Force of Nature on Slyk, but Shane counters a second one to a swinging DDT at 16:34. This was a puzzling result as Hernandez was hugely over and Shane was practically gone at this point. The match was okay but nothing special. Slyk was "hella sloppy" as they might say in Northern California. **1/2

  • Field of Honor Qualifier: Jimmy Rave vs. Slim J.
    You gotta feel for Slim J, who was made irrelevant in ROH by the emergence of Jack Evans early the next year. He actually shows some skill outside of tugging on his shlong and doing flippy stuff by taking Rave over into a cross-armlock. Rave is still the plucky, naïve babyface here, which is so opposite of the role that would make him a player. Rave cuts off a suicide dive and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Slim J screws up a floatover move but hits a cradle butterfly suplex. Rave hits an Inverted DDT for two but takes a roundhouse kick to the face. Rave rolls through a sunset flip and knocks Slim silly with a knee to the face. Slim J kicks out at two and hits a Tornado Pedigree. Rave avoids the Electric Chair and tilt-o-whirls into the Crippler Crossface for the win at 8:57. This is the reason people complain about indy spotfest with both guys hitting crazy, head-dropping moves and then kicking out so they can move on to the next crazy, head-dropping move with no transition in between. *

  • ROH World Title: Samoa Joe vs. BJ Whitmer.
    Whitmer wasn't yet main-event material, but that's part of the charm of ROH because they're willing to put a World Title match on the undercard and then do a big tag title match in the main event. Whitmer is also coming in with a broken nose, thanks to Homicide, so he's wearing one of those facemasks. Joe tries to end it early by snapping BJ in two with a half-crab. They trade slaps, and BJ gets pissed enough to take off his mask. Is that such a good idea? Lovey actually asks the same question. Joe hits the STJoe, and they take it to the floor where Joe hits the Olé Kick twice! Back in, BJ hits a superkick out of nowhere, and Joe kind of crumbles to the canvas. A flying forearm puts Joe back down, and Whitmer fires off a series of kicks. Joe fires back with knees to the head and locks in the Coquina Clutch. Whitmer is close to the ropes, though. Joe actually works in the Rolling Cradle for two. Whitmer comes back with the Exploder! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! The backdrop driver! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Whitmer hits a pair of knees, but Joe cuts off another with an enzuigiri and finishes with a straitjacket suplex at 12:21. Stiff, hard-hitting match while it lasted. Whitmer wasn't on Joe's level here, and Joe treated him as such, but he gave him just enough to elevate him to the point where Whitmer was able to take a big jump up. ***

  • In the back, Colt and Ace ask a little boy if he's seen Rob Feinstein, and the boy answers, "Not yet." Boy, is THAT ever disturbing in light of what we now know! Colt irritates Nigel McGuinness and the Ringcrew Express. Hilarious moment as Colt runs out of joke about halfway into what he's saying and has to improvise with an insult about a forcefield…well, you have to see it.

  • ROH Tag Team Titles: AJ Styles & Homicide (w/Alexis Laree & Julius Smokes) vs. Christopher Daniels & Dan Maff (w/Allison Danger & Jim Cornette).
    Homicide has issues with Maff, so he's more than willing to fill in for Red. HUGE BRAWL to start, and Maff gets dumped into the crowd. AJ and Homicide hit stereo dives onto the Prophecy as the crowd goes NUCLEAR! Cornette and Danger get in on the action as the faces give them a rowboat. Lovey: "Allison Danger's legs are spread! Get the shot! Get the shot!" Ah, this is so JCP! I love it! The faces isolate Daniels and work him over with quick tags. Homicide gets two off a T-Bone suplex, but Allison Danger trips him up from the floor, allowing Maff to tag in and hit a suplex. Homicide plays Ricky Morton as it's the Prophecy who cuts off the ring. They work in the manager-assisted abdominal stretch. The ref eventually catches him and breaks it up, allowing Homicide to hiptoss out of it. Allison Danger chokes Homicide out on the bottom rope as Maff distracts the ref. Daniels tags in and locks in the Koji Clutch with Maff running interference on AJ. Homicide makes the ropes. The Prophecy's Rocket Launcher misses, and Homicide slips through Maff's legs á la Ricky Morton and makes the HOT TAG TO AJ! AJ comes in with a rana on Maff and then one on Daniels that snaps Daniels' neck on the top rope. Maff counters the Quebrada DDT to a German Suplex, but AJ tries again and hits (in theory). Daniels sneaks in with the Blue Thunder Bomb on AJ. The uranage sets up the Best Moonsault Ever for two. Maff hits AJ with the belly-to-belly facebuster (odd move), and the Prophecy hits the Rocket Launcher this time. Homicide recovers and hits the Ace Crusher on Daniels, but Maff jumps him with a Dragon Suplex. Maff and Julius Smokes get into it on the outside, and Homicide accidentally takes out his own manager with a suicida. Back in, Daniels counters the Cop Killer to the Angel's Wings, but AJ makes the save. AJ and Daniels go through a series of rollups and counters that sees the ref get bumped. Corny tosses the racket in to Daniels, but AJ kicks him in the gut and delivers the Styles Clash on the racket for the win at 18:18. After the match, Corny is pissed but shakes hands with AJ and Homicide and congratulates them. Of course, that's a big no-no for the Prophecy, and Daniels think Cornette cost them the match anyway. The Prophecy puts the boots to him until the Amazing Red limps back in and hits everyone with the racket. Red gets speared by Maff, but here comes Samoa Joe to make the save for real. Cornette recovers and says he was wrong about ROH and puts the promotion over. The first two-thirds of this adhered to classic tag formula with the faces getting the crowd hot with a flurry of offense before manager interference lets the heels cut off the ring. The final third was them saying, "Nah, we don't want to do a quick finish," and turning the match into a mid-nineties All Japan contest. This is also a good example of modern wrestling versus post-modern wrestling. The fans recognized the formula and were appreciative, but they weren't emotionally into it the way a Memphis crowd would have been. Anyway, fantastic match. ****

  • Homicide calls Steve Corino a "bitch" and a "coward" for the thousandth time.

  • Samoa Joe puts over BJ Whitmer and talks about sacrifice. He ponders who the next big challenger for his title. He teases the names Low Ki and Christopher Daniels.

  • Steve Corino, making his first appearance since the riot, complains about the internet writers calling the riot a work. He also complains about Homicide dragging his kid into it and says Japan is more important than ROH. He threatens to end Homicide's career.

  • Colt Cabana finally tracks down Rob Feinstein who is on the phone. Rob confirms that the Field of Honor is a tournament and Colt is invited. Colt and Ace head off, but someone attacks Lucy from behind. They take the camera and point it at a piece of paper that reads "Trust Never Sleeps." Duhn-dun-DUHNNN! The "Who Shot Lucy?" storyline would play out until Final Battle 2003 with Punk trying to figure out who did it.


  • The 411: I can't really recommend it from a wrestling standpoint because there were just too many spotty and sloppy performances. But Cornette debuted here, and the "Who Shot Lucy?" storyline started here, so it's historically a pretty important show. Call it a very mild recommendation for the main event and historical reasons.

    Thumbs in the middle, tilting up.

     
    Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend





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