Wauwatosa, Wisconsin â€“ 7.23.04
Before the show can officially get underway, Dave Prazak introduces Midwest legend Baron Von Raschke. I definitely grew up outside of Minneapolis watching Von Raschke, so Iâ€™m cool with this. He talks only briefly before Generation Next comes out to interrupt him. They threaten him but the Second City Saints come out to make the save. Jack Evans is left for dead and takes the claw from the Baron.
Jimmy Bower and Mark Nulty are on commentary. Dave Prazak is your ring announcer.
MATCH #1: Four Corner Survival â€“ Delirious vs. Matt Sydal vs. Trent Acid vs. Ace Steel
Boy has Evan Bourne come a long way. Steel and Delirious start the match but before anything can happen Acid makes a blind tag on Delirious. Nulty talks about Acid wanting to be â€œKing of the Multi Purpose Match,â€ which is hilarious. They go back and forth with some attempted comedy, but given that I already revealed my feelings on both men I donâ€™t feel the need to say how funny I think it is. Steel hits Acid with a powerslam, and then they both make tags. Delirious and Sydal take it right to the mat and the crowd is appreciative. Nulty references â€œMil Macarasâ€ [sic] Bower makes a racial slur as the commentary is far exceeding the match in terms of entertainment value. The match breaks down to a brawl and Steel gets dropped to the floor. Acid hits Steel with what Nulty calls an â€œAss-Eye Moonsault.â€ They do a couple of contrived and/or botched spots, mostly involving Steel and Acid. Sydal gets back in the ring and hits Steel with a rana and a flying leg lariat. He hits a reverse Rocker Dropper on Acid for two. He goes up top and that sets the Tower of Doom into motion, and Sydal appears to have broken his neck. Everyone starts hitting finishers but the pins keep getting broken up. Nulty says Acid puts â€œColt Steelâ€ up on the top rope. Colt Steel hits Delirious with a Super Spinal Shock but canâ€™t get the pin. Steel gets dropped to the floor and Sydal wipes him out with a Pescado. Acid then hits Delirious with the Shovel Driver to get the pin at 9:14. That was a pretty typical ROH opener for the day. Sydal and Delirious made it at least decent.
MATCH #2: ROH Pure Title Match â€“ Doug Williams vs. Alex Shelley
Williams has been the Pure Champion since 7.17.04, and this is his first defense. This is also a rematch from last week in New Jersey when Williams beat Shelley to win the title. The rules are â€“ no closed fists to the face, a 20-count on the floor, and both wrestlers only get to use three rope breaks. They start off cautiously with a feeling-out process. Williams gets a quick advantage and Shelley powders. Back in the ring they engage in a test of strength and Williams wins that too. Everything Shelley tries Williams has a counter for. The crowd is pretty engaged in what has been a mat-based encounter thus far. Williams goes after the leg, and Shelley uses his first rope break. He then hog ties Shelley in the ropes just for fun. Shelley comes back with a submission hold of his own and Williams uses his first rope break. He goes to work on Williamsâ€™ neck, no doubt to set up for the Border City Stretch. He continues working over the neck and Williams has to use another rope break. Williams comes back and traps Shelley in a half crab, forcing Shelley to use another rope break. Shelley comes back with an enziguiri. Williams gets a quick small package for two, and then Shelley knocks him back down. They exchange a series of holds that ends with Williams ramming Shelley into the turnbuckle. Williams hits a super double underhook suplex for a two-count. Shelley comes back with a spinning fisherman buster for a two-count. He hits a superkick and then the Shellshock, which causes Williams to use his third rope break. Williams comes back with the Bomb Scare for a two-count. Shelley blocks the Chaos Theory and gets a rollup for two. He hits a standing Sliced Bread #2 and both men are down. Shelley then jumps on Williamsâ€™ back and locks on a full nelson. Iâ€™m pretty sure he stole that from Jimmy Jacobs. Williams breaks the hold, but Shelley is able to go up top and hit a double stomp to the back of the head for two! Shelley goes for the Shellshock but Williams reverses to the Chaos Theory and Shelley grabs the ropes, using his third rope break. They trade holds and Williams ends up hitting the Chaos Theory to get the pin and retain the title at 16:49.
It might have been better if Williams had used a different move to finish, since Shelley spent so much time working over his neck. Aside from that it was a very good technical match and did a good job putting over the Pure Title rules as well.
MATCH #3: Low Ki & Rocky Romero vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer
Before the Rottweilers make their way to ringside, Allison Danger comes out and tries one more time to get Maff and Whitmer to reunite the Prophecy with her. Maff says No, in a way, and Danger storms off, promising that they â€œare gonna be sorry.â€
Just try convincing Wauwatosa that Low Ki is supposed to be a heel. Ki and Romero attack before the bell and itâ€™s a big brawl to start. Maff and Whitmer fight back and send the Rottweilers reeling to the floor. The match starts proper with Romero and Whitmer engaging in a test of strength. Apparently Danger is still in charge of Whitmer and Maffâ€™s contracts, and she signed this match to be a jerk. Maff and Ki get tagged in, and they have unfinished business dating back to Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies almost a year ago. Ki gets thrown around a bit, so he comes back with a low blow to take control. He drops an elbow and then tags Romero. Maff comes back and makes the tag to Whitmer. They work Romero over in their half of the ring. Moments later Romero fights back and tags Ki, and now the Rottweilers go to work on Whitmer. That doesnâ€™t last too long before Whitmer tags to Maff. Ki tries to avoid Maff but to no avail so he takes a powder. Maff follows him out to the floor and drops an elbow. Romero comes off the apron and pushes Maffâ€™s arm into the ring post and then hits a series of kicks. Ki hits a modified Divorce Court for two. The Rottweilers focus on the arm now. Ki hits a double stomp to the arm off the top rope for a two-count. The referee has no control of the Rottweilers whatsoever. Maff comes back with a belly-to-back suplex on both men simultaneously (the setup was horribly contrived). He crawls over to the corner and makes the tag, but Julius Smokes had the referee distracted so the tag does not stand. Whitmer throws Smokes in the ring and Maff hits him with a Spear. Maff makes the tag now to a disappointing pop. Whitmer is a house afire, throwing Romero and Ki around the ring. He hits Romero with a brainbuster for two. Homicide makes his way to ringside as the match has completely broken down. Whitmer goes for the Wrist-Clutch Exploder but Ki turns it into the Dragon Clutch. Maff breaks that up with a Spear. He goes for the Burning Hammer on Romero but Ki breaks it up. Romero then locks Maff in the Cross Armbreaker while Ki holds Whitmer back, and Maff taps out at 16:51. That was a solid tag match that never really developed heat.
Allison Danger comes back out to try and recruit the Rottweilers for the New Prophecy, but Homicide just gives her the Cop Killa instead to a huge pop. During Intermission it apparently took five minutes to get Danger on a table and out of the ring.
MATCH #4: Danny Daniels vs. Chad Collyer
I miss Chad Collyer. Daniels backs Collyer into the corner and issues a clean break. He then goes after Collyerâ€™s arm and Collyer responds in kind. The pace quickens as they trade holds and counter-holds, ending with Collyer on top of Daniels with an armbar. Neither man can hold an advantage for a period of time. Daniels hits a swinging gutbuster and then locks on a seated abdominal stretch. Collyer comes back and goes after the leg, no doubt to set up for the Texas Cloverleaf. Daniels comes back with a knee lift. He charges at Collyer, who suplexes him into the turnbuckles. They trade chops and Collyer hits a leg lariat. Collyer tries a hurricanrana but it doesnâ€™t quite connect. He pitches Daniels to the floor and follows him out with a tope suicida. Back in the ring Collyer goes up top and Daniels knocks him down, and then is able to hit a gutbuster. Daniels gets a side Oklahoma Roll for two. Collyer avoids a piledriver and hits a Dragon Screw. He then locks on the Texas Cloverleaf and Daniels taps out at 8:26. That was passable but I couldnâ€™t figure out what story they were trying to tell, if any.
MATCH #5: Generation Next vs. John Walters, Matt Stryker & Jimmy Jacobs
Generation Next is represented by Austin Aries, Jack Evans, and Roderick Strong, and are accompanied by their leader Alex Shelley. To combat Shelley, Walters, Stryker, and Jacobs announce that Ricky Steamboat will be in their corner! Jacobs and Evans start the match, and Evans actually controls with a series of armdrags. Keeping with the theme, Jacobs comes back with armdrags of his own. Walters gets tagged in, as does Strong. The armdrags continue, this time from Walters, and then he tags Stryker into the match. Strong tags Aries, and he immediately gets taken down. Aries comes back and goes after Strykerâ€™s knee. Generation Next works Stryker over in their half of the ring. After a few minutes or abuse Stryker makes the tag to Jacobs and heâ€™s Hussing up. Steamboat inadvertently distracts the referee, allowing Generation Next to triple-team Jacobs. Aries, Strong, and Evans all take turns working Jacobs over, keeping him away from his teammates. At one point Jacobs does make a tag but the referee gets distracted and doesnâ€™t see it. Nulty says that the referee has â€œnot assumed any tags,â€ which is quite false, he let Gen Next tag without seeing it several times. Finally Jacobs takes out all three opponents and makes a double tag to both Stryker and Walters. They clean house on Gen Next, executing a number of double-team maneuvers. Strong recovers and hits Stryker with a powerbomb, and Aries follows with a 450 Splash. Jacobs breaks up that pin with a Senton. Shelley interferes (which the referee sees) and grabs Walters from the floor, so Steamboat runs over and fights Shelley to the back. Evans tries a 630 but misses. Walters locks him in a nasty looking submission and Evans taps out at 16:47. Generation Next was the best thing to happen to ROH in 2004. This was a tremendously fun tag team match that managed to make everyone look good.
MATCH #6: ROH World Title Match â€“ Samoa Joe vs. Homicide
Joe has been the champion since 3.22.03 and this is his twenty-first title defense. Homicide is accompanied by Julius Smokes, Low Ki, and Rocky Romero. This is Homicideâ€™s last shot at the title as long as Joe is the champion. Joe gets distracted by the multitude of Rottweilers at ringside, allowing Homicide to take the early advantage. The referee rightly decides to clear the ringside area to make this a fair one-on-one contest. They exchange strikes, and Joe seems rejuvenated by the absence of the other three Rottweilers. Joe takes Homicide down and hits the Big Joe Combo. Homicide fights back but Joe is able to maintain the advantage. They exchange strikes and Homicide takes control. Joe fires back with chops and punches, and then a big kick to the face. They get in each otherâ€™s faces and Homicide pokes Joe in the eyes. Homicide goes for an STF but Joe gets to the ropes. Once again Joe tries making a comeback and Homicide goes to the eyes. A good majority of this match is these two just beating the crap out of each other. The battle spills to the floor and Homicide hits Joe with a baseball slide. Back in the ring Joe takes control with a series of strikes and en enziguiri for two. Homicide comes back with a knee to the back of the head off the top rope. He locks Joe in a headscissors and Joe gets to the ropes. Joe comes back with a leg sweep, and then Homicide dumps Joe to the floor. Once again Homicide teases the Tope Con Hilo and doesnâ€™t deliver, and then Joe blasts him with an enziguiri. Joe goes for the Ole Kick but Homicide counters with a drop toehold onto the chair. Homicide charges but Joe catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex. This time Joe hits the Ole Kick and seems pretty pleased about it. Back in the ring Homicide is selling the back and Joe appears woozy. Joe hits the STJoe for a two-count. He hits a snap powerslam for another two. He hits a powerbomb for two and then rolls it into a Pearl River Plunge for another close two-count. Homicide comes back with a Diamond Dust, neckbreaker, and a modified piledriver for two. He hits a couple of lariats, the third one taking Joe down for a two-count. Joe avoids another lariat attempt and hits a Cobra Clutch suplex for two. He then hits the Muscle Buster but Homicide kicks out! Back up Joe hits an Island Driver but Homicide kicks out again! A pissed-off Joe locks Homicide in the Choke and Homicide is out at 24:00.
Joe refuses to let go of the hold despite officials trying to pry him off. The Rottweilers come out to save their leader and beat Joe down. Romero, Ki, and Homicide take turns spitting on the ROH Title belt. The match was intense and awesome, probably the best these two ever had. Having Homicide kick out of Joeâ€™s finishers was cool since it was the last time theyâ€™d face each other during Joeâ€™s title reign and it helped make the last few minutes super hot. Iâ€™m wondering why they didnâ€™t try harder to do Joe versus Ki one-on-one for the belt; that seems like an obvious money match.
MATCH #7: ROH Tag Team Title 2/3 Falls Match â€“ CM Punk & Colt Cabana vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe
The Second City Saints have been the champions since 5.15.04 and this is their third defense. Punk and Mark start the match with some chain and mat wrestling. The Briscoes have never defeated Cabana and Punk, and have actually lost the tag team titles to them twice, at Reborn Stage Two and Round Robin Challenge III. Tags are made and they pick up where their partners left off. They go back and forth and then Jay tags Mark. The Briscoes take control and work Cabana over. Cabana reverses an Irish Whip and locks on an armbar, and then makes the tag to Punk. Mark and Punk exchange armdrags and wrestle to a standoff. The younger Briscoe brother backs Punk into the corner and slaps him in the face. That fires Punk up and he takes Mark down in the corner and goes for the face wash but Mark rolls out of the way. The Saints maintain control and wear Mark down. The Briscoes use some clever double-teaming to take advantage of Punk on the floor. Jay and Cabana get into it while Cabana is on the apron, and with the referee distracted by Cabana the Briscoes both stomp away on Punk. The Briscoes dominate Punk, effectively using teamwork to keep Cabana at bay. Jay chokes Punk behind the refereeâ€™s back, causing Punk to rip the corner pad off. The Briscoes use it as a weapon just to be jerks. They try a double-team move but Punk avoids it and somersaults into the corner to tag Cabana. Punk quickly tags himself back in and the match and Jay makes him pay, hitting the Jay Driller to get the pin and go up 1-0 at 20:13.
The Jay Driller had a pretty deleterious effect on Punk, as he limply rolls to the apron and Jay kicks him down to the floor. Cabana is left alone to battle both challengers. The Briscoes certainly have no problem taking advantage of the two-on-one situation. Finally after several minutes of punishment Cabana is able to turn a double-team move against the Briscoes. Cabana sends Mark to the floor and then traps Jay in a cradle to get the pin and even things up 1-1 at 6:03 (total match time 26:16).
The Briscoes take some cheap shots during the rest period and continue beating on Cabana in the corner. They hit the Springboard Doomsday Device but Punk appears out of nowhere to make the save! Cabana comes back with a flying clothesline and both men are down. Mark gets the tag and knocks Punk off the apron before Cabana can tag him. Moments later Cabana FINALLY makes the tag to Punk, who is officially a house afire. Punk hits Mark with Welcome to Chicago for a two-count. Jay comes in and tries another Jay Driller but Punk blocks it and hits an Alabama Slam. Cabana follows with a Frog Splash and Punk gets a two-count. The match spills to the floor, and Mark hits a Shooting Star Press onto everyone, including his brother. Cabana responds with an Asai Moonsault. Mark and Punk are first back in the ring and soon everyone is in kicking everyone else in the face. Punk wins the battle and sets up for the Pepsi Plunge but canâ€™t connect. They do a double pin spot, which I hate because all four guys canâ€™t possibly be legal. Mark drills Cabana with the Cutthroat Driver and Punk has to make the save. He tries the same move on Punk but it gets blocked. Punk then hits Mark with the Pepsi Plunge to get the victory and retain the titles at 10:15 (total match time 36:31). These two teams always had great matches together and this was no different.
The Pulse: The last three matches are varying degrees of awesome, and the Pure Title match is right up there too, so out of seven matches itâ€™s already worth checking out. The rest of the matches arenâ€™t great, but with no backstage promos or segments the show flowed nicely and gave it a different feel. Bring on Part Two!
Tags: cm punk, colt cabana, Death Before Dishonor, evan bourne, Homicide, Ring of Honor, roh on hdnet, Samoa Joe, The Briscoe Brothers