A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor 2 Part Two (CM Punk, Ace Steel, Dan Maff, BJ Whitmer)

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Chicago Ridge, Illinois – 7.24.04

Brad Garoon and I were at this show! Jimmy Bower and Mark Nulty are once again on commentary, and just like Death Before Dishonor II Part One, there will be no interviews or backstage segments on this show.

MATCH #1: Rocky Romero vs. Chad Collyer

Romero is accompanied by Julius Smokes, Homicide, and Low Ki. Collyer is severely outnumbered, since he came alone. They start off with some back and forth chain wrestling. Collyer goes after the leg in hopes of being able to use the Texas Cloverleaf. Nulty tells his first lie of the evening when saying that Romero was more of a high flying type of wrestler. Romero comes back and locks Collyer in a headscissors. Collyer goes for the Cloverleaf but Romero grabs the bottom rope. Nulty tells another lie when he says this match could be a main event anywhere in the country. Then he unleashes “Greco Roman Back Drop.” I’d love to know what goes through this idiot’s head. Romero goes after the arm, locking on a Cross Armbreaker but Collyer reaches the ropes. Tenacious as he is, Romero locks the hold on again, and kicks away at the arm to weaken it. Collyer comes back with a German Suplex and a bridge for two. Romero quickly grabs Collyer with a Divorce Court to reclaim the advantage. Collyer tries a victory roll, which gets reversed multiple times until he kicks Romero to the floor. They battle briefly on the floor until Collyer wisely takes the match back to the ring. Collyer hits a high cross body block off the top rope for two. He hits a dropkick and a brainbuster for two. He goes for a double underhook but Romero reverses it to the Cross Armbreaker. Collyer reaches the ropes. Romero kicks away at the arm but Collyer reverses to the Cloverleaf again but Romero makes it to the bottom rope. Collyer goes right back to the leg but Romero grabs a Cross Armbreaker out of nowhere for the tap out win at 11:30. That was a surprisingly good opener with no interference from the Rottweilers.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #2: Alex Shelley vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Shelley is accompanied by Roderick Strong and Jack Evans. Austin Aries is presumably preparing for his Pure Title shot against Doug Williams later tonight. They start off trading arm holds and Shelley wins the first battle, taking Jacobs down to the mat. Jacobs comes back with a nice takedown into an ankle lock but Shelley is right next to the bottom rope so he grabs it. They continue trading holds and Shelley seems one step ahead thus far. The pace quickens and they go back and forth; this time Jacobs ends up with the upper hand. Jacobs is on the apron and Shelley snaps the ropes back, sending Jacobs crashing into the barricade. Nulty says Shelley wants to turn this match into a brawl on the floor, which is funny because Shelley throws Jacobs back in the ring immediately. Shelley goes up top and hits a knee to the back of the head for two. He locks on a headscissors and turns it into the Skullf*cker. Unfortunately for Shelley, he didn’t do his homework, because he tries to hit Jacobs’s head into the top turnbuckle but to no effect. Shelley goes to the eyes instead and then hits a snap suplex for two. Jacobs comes back and hits a big double stomp to the back in the corner. Shelley comes back with a Death Valley Neckbreaker. He hits a legdrop for two. A slingshot elbow gets two as well. Jacobs comes back with an STO and both men are down. Back on their feet Jacobs is on fire, unleashing a flurry of offense. Jacobs goes up top and hits a tomahawk chop for two. He tries a cross body (with no ups whatsoever) but Shelley catches him and hits him with a swinging Flatliner. Jacobs comes back with four cross-arm neckbreakers against the knee. Back on their feet Shelley tries the Shellshock but Jacobs reverses it and hits his own Shellshock! Jacobs goes for the Contra Code but Shelley reverses to a 2K1 Bomb for two. Bower makes a crack about how this match is a “little bit on the long side” because Shelley and Jacobs went over time. Shelley goes for a superplex but Jacobs knocks him down and KILLS him with a senton for two. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code again but Shelley avoids it and hits a modified Regalplex right on the back of the neck, and he rolls that right into the Border City Stretch for the win at 14:29. That was a fun back-and-forth match between two guys who really wanted to prove themselves. There was little to no resting and everything looked smooth. These two were always great opponents.
Rating: ***¾

After the match Shelley gets on the microphone to put over Jacobs’s effort in the match. Even so, he instructs Evans and Strong to attack Jacobs. They triple-team him until Ricky Steamboat walks out to make the save. This leads to an impromptu tag match:

MATCH #3: Jack Evans & Roderick Strong vs. John Walters & Matt Stryker

Walters and Stryker charge the ring and unleash some well timed double team maneuvers on both opponents, sending them to the floor. Steamboat throws Strong back in the ring, and Stryker takes control of his arm. Walters also works on the arm, but Strong is able to make the comeback on him and hit the gutbuster and a kick to the chest. Evans tags in and the crowd chants “you are white!” He uses his incredible agility coupled with Strong’s strength to wear Walters down. This goes on for many minutes. Finally Walters hits a simultaneous lungblower and makes the tag. Stryker takes both Strong and Evans down. He hits Evans with a powerslam for two. He hits a Thesz Press but misses a Lionsault. That gives the Gen Next duo the chance to hit Ode to the Bulldogs but Stryker kicks out! Moments later Strong gets tagged in and Stryker pitches him to the floor. Walters gets tagged and with Stryker they hit Evans with a doomsday lungblower. The referee won’t count a pinfall or ask for a submission on Evans because he’s not the legal man. Meanwhile Stryker puts Strong in the Stryker Lock. Shelley is able to interfere and break up the Stryker Lock. Steamboat chases him towards the back and Austin Aries comes out to blindside Steamboat. In the ring Strong hits Walters with a Spinal Shock to get the pin at 10:48. That was pretty entertaining, and I forgot how awesome a team Strong and Evans were.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #4: Six Man Mayhem – Matt Sydal vs. Trent Acid vs. Shawn Daivari vs. Delirious vs. Great Kazushi vs. Danny Daniels

It’s hard to believe that Evan Bourne was once on the same level in the pecking order as Trent Acid. Daniels and Delirious start the match. They go back and forth for a bit, and Delirious is clearly the crowd favorite between the two of them. Kazushi and Daivari get tagged in, and Kazushi reveals that he can spew red mist. In an awesome spot, Daivari goes for a victory roll but they can’t quite pull it off and Kazushi gets his face smashed into the mat. It looked devastating. Kazushi rolls to the floor to check on his face. Acid comes into the match and goes right after Daivari. The match breaks down and bodies are flying everywhere. Sydal and Daniels are left in the ring. Daniels grabs Sydal off the top rope and hits Shock Treatment. Delirious grabs Daniels and he works with Sydal to double-team him. The match breaks down even further, with everyone going for kicks to the face and/or finishers. Daniels and Kazushi reverse Tombstone attempts, leaving them in perfect position to take the Shadows over Hell from Delirious. Of course they work in a Tower of Doom spot. Acid and Delirious are on their feet first and Delirious hits the Chemical Imbalance II for a two-count. Daniels breaks that up and hits Delirious with the piledriver for a two-count. Kazushi hits Daniels with the Green Mist and then an enziguiri (or savate kick, if you’re asking Nulty) for a two-count. Daivari loads both Sydal and Delirious up on his shoulders and hits a simultaneous Death Valley Driver for a two-count. Acid sneaks it and hits Daivari with the Shovel Driver to get the win at 8:44. That was pretty much nonstop action, and it did what Six Man Mayhem matches are supposed to do.
Rating: **½

Coupled with his win in the Four Corner Survival match last night, this earned Trent Acid a title shot at Samoa Joe at Testing the Limit. Unfortunately for Acid, he got hurt during the match and it turned into a pretty big mess, so it only exists on DVD in clipped form.

MATCH #5: ROH Pure Title Match – Doug Williams vs. Austin Aries

The Human Torture Device has been the Pure Champion since 7.17.04, and this is his second defense. Aries hits Williams with a closed fist behind the referee’s back and when Williams responds in kind the referee sees it and issues a warning. Williams regroups and goes after the arm. Aries tries to escape and ends up going to the ropes to break a hammerlock, thus using his first rope break. He recovers and goads Williams into throwing another closed fist, costing the champion his first rope break. The champion comes back and traps Aries in a headscissors. Aries escapes and hits a dropkick, as Gabe and Nulty ruminate on the fact that Generation Next never seems to come to ringside whenever one of them is in a big match like a title match or a Survival of the Fittest match. The challenger comes back and snaps Williams’ neck off the top rope and works on his neck. Williams comes back with a headbutt to the gut and a European Uppercut for a two-count. Aries comes back and goes after the neck again. He puts on a Muta Lock and Williams uses his second rope break. The challenger baseball slides Williams to the floor and follows him out with a corkscrew plancha. They battle on the floor to the count of 19 and then slide back in the ring to barely beat the count. Back in the ring Williams uses his power to take control. Williams hits a series of knees for a two-count. He hits the Bomb Scare for a two-count. He locks on an elevated hammerlock and Aries uses his second rope break. Aries reverses a suplex and hits a side slam for two. He misses the pendulum elbow but is able to hit a roaring elbow for a two-count. Williams comes back with another painful looking submission hold and Aries uses his last rope break. The champ puts Williams up on the top rope and yanks Aries’ arm down on the top rope. Aries rolls to the floor and comes back by snapping Williams’ neck off the top rope. He goes up top but Williams stops him and locks on an am submission while entangled in the ropes and Aries taps out at 14:14. That was technically proficient never really all that exciting.
Rating: ***

MATCH #6: Low Ki vs. Mark Briscoe

Ki is accompanied by Julius Smokes, Homicide, and Rocky Romero. He slaps Mark rather than shake his hand and we’re underway. They take it to the mat and wrestle for control. Ki hits a kick to the arm and they’re at a standoff. The crowd is split down the middle, which is a shame since the lines are pretty clearly drawn. Ki offers himself up in the down position, and Mark outwrestles him so he takes a powder. Back in the ring Mark goes right after Ki and once again sends him to the floor. Once again Mark takes control and Ki bails. Ki grabs a chair to distract the referee, and Smokes pushes Mark off the top rope, allowing Ki to take control. Even though he’s in control Ki feigns an injury, which the crowd doesn’t buy for a second. Ki throws the referee into Mark and then hits a springboard kick to the face for two. He works Mark over, unleashing kicks and chops. He locks Mark in a headscissors. Mark tries to fight back but Ki cuts him off and continues dissecting him. Ki hits a double stomp off the top rope for two. Does anyone else think it’s as funny as I do when Nulty calls a bodyslam “crotch hold left into a slam?” Mark comes back by reversing a whip and hitting a spinning heel kick. He throws Ki into the corner and hits a clothesline and a dropkick. He hits a Fisherman’s Buster for a two-count. Mark goes for the Cutthroat Driver but Ki avoids it and hits a Back Drop Driver for two. Ki tries the Dragon Clutch but Mark escapes it. He tries a springboard kick but Mark avoids it and hits an electric chair drop for a two-count. Mark gets an O’Connor Roll for two. Ki cleverly reverses that to the Dragon Clutch, but Mark escapes again and finally hits the German Suplex he had been looking for but his arm is too injured to maintain the bridge. Mark goes for the Cutthroat Driver again and Smokes throws a chair in the ring. The referee removes the chair but that allows Smokes to take a cheap shot. Ki hits the Krush Rush and then locks on the Dragon Clutch. Mark taps out at 16:40. After the match the Rottweilers humiliate Mark and Ki slaps him in the face. The match was decent but seemed to go on forever.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #7: Homicide vs. Jay Briscoe

Homicide attacks right away and Jay is ready for him. Jay hits a superkick to send Homicide to the floor, and then follows him out with a plancha to wipe him out. Homicide tries a piledriver but Jay counters with a back body drop. Back in the ring Homicide hits a chop and chokes Jay in the corner. Of course Julius Smokes, Low Ki, and Rocky Romero are all at ringside. Jay comes back with a missile dropkick for two. Homicide slips out of a powerslam and hits an Ace Crusher for two. He takes Jay down in the corner and hits the face wash. He continues working Jay over for several minutes. Homicide goes up top and Jay knocks him down and hits a super belly-to-belly suplex. Both men are down. Back on their feet Jay takes control and hits a Falcon Arrow for two. Jay hits Splash Mountain for another two-count. Homicide comes back by smashing Jay’s face into the turnbuckles with an STO, and then hitting a piledriver for a two-count. He goes for the Cop Killa but Jay slips out and tries the Jay Driller and Homicide escapes that. Homicide then hits a Pearl River Plunge for two. They get up and trade boots to the face and Jay scores the first knockdown, so Homicide hits a huge lariat out of anger for two. Jay appears to be out, but Homicide isn’t following up, so Jay grabs him with a Back Drop Driver, dropping Homicide more on his arm in a painful looking bump. The referee gets distracted as Jay goes up top, allowing Smokes to interfere. Homicide goes up and hits a super double underhook suplex. He follows up with another huge lariat for the pin at 11:21. This (along with the previous match) certainly established Homicide and the Rottweilers are some bad dudes who don’t care about the Code of Honor. This match was a little better than the previous one because the heat didn’t go on forever.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. Colt Cabana

Joe has been the champion since 3.22.03, and this is his twenty-second defense. Cabana earned this title shot by pinning Joe to eliminate him from the Survival of the Fittest match exactly one month prior. They start off slowly, with each man backing the other into the corner and issuing a clean break. Cabana doesn’t seem to be taking the match completely seriously, which could be to throw Joe off his game. They trade headlocks and wrestle to a standoff. Cabana tries a bodyslam, which Joe takes offense to. Now Cabana shows some anger and tries to knock Joe off his feet. Joe doesn’t go down and then piefaces the challenger. Cabana tries one more shoulderblock and this time Joe goes down. He misses the Butt-Butt and Joe knocks him to the floor. Back in the ring they engage in a test of strength and Joe gets the first advantage. Cabana escapes but runs right into the STJoe. Joe misses a kick and Cabana gets a schoolboy rollup for two. Joe comes right back and knocks Cabana down to the floor. The champion is firmly in control of his challenger, working him over with strikes and suplexes. Cabana fights up with a series of jabs. He hits the running knees in the corner this time and slams Joe down. He goes up for the moonsault and Joe shoves him down to the floor. Joe joins him on the floor and goes for the Ole Kick but Cabana blocks it! Cabana then hits an Ole Kick of his own! Back in the ring Joe hits a snap powerslam for two. Joe hits a series of strikes and a big lariat for a two-count. Cabana comes back with a bodyslam and goes for the Frog Splash but Joe avoids it; Cabana is able to land on his feet and hits a Back Drop Driver for two. He goes back up top for the Frog Splash but Joe kicks out again. Cabana gets a sunset flip for two, and then rolls it over into an STF and Joe has to reach the ropes. He goes for the Colt 45 but Joe blocks it and hits an enziguiri. Joe goes for the Choke but Cabana rolls it into a pin cover for two. The champ kills Cabana with a lariat for a two-count. Moments later Joe hits Cabana with the Muscle Buster to get the pin and retain the title at 17:29. That was a really well-worked match by two guys with wildly different styles. Joe was just on fire in 2004.
Rating: ***½

After the match the Rottweilers come out to attack Joe, but the Briscoe Brothers make the save. Joe gets up and holds up his title belt, which since Homicide gets no more shots at him would have to be directed at Low Ki. I’m really upset this match didn’t happen. Joe and Cabana shake hands.

Before the next match can begin, Allison Danger comes out in a neck brace. She cuts a promo in the ring blaming Maff and Whitmer for Homicide giving her the Cop Killa last night. The crowd is not at all supportive of her. She says she’s going to personally watch Maff and Whitmer get beat up tonight.

MATCH #9: Chicago Street Fight – CM Punk & Ace Steel vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer

Everyone’s wearing jeans, so you know it’s on now. This mach is Non Sanctioned. Maff and Whitmer stall on the floor and threaten to walk out on the match. Contact is finally made about two minutes in when Maff and Whitmer pull Punk and Steel to the floor and throwing them around a bit. Back in the ring they throw Punk to the floor and double-team Steel. Punk pulls Whitmer to the floor and then gets in the ring for some double-teaming. Whitmer tries to get back in the ring off the top rope but Punk catches him and hits an Exploder. Steel throws Whitmer to the floor. Punk nails Maff with a cross body off the top rope. Steel tries to plancha out on Whitmer, but he runs into a chair instead. Punk then tastes the steel chair as well. Steel and Punk are already busted open. All four men make it back to the ring. Maff and Whitmer are totally in control, and they whip Punk and Steel with their belts. The Saints come back and go on offense. Whitmer hits Punk with a back elbow and everyone goes back to the floor. Steel throws Maff into the barricade. Whitmer introduces a table and Steel takes him out and throws him into the barricade too. Punk goes into the crowd to get a running start for a leaping lariat over the guardrail. Punk throws both a ladder and a chair into the ring. He holds the chair in front of Maff’s face for Steel to hit a running dropkick in the corner. The Saints trap Maff’s head in between the ladder and bash it with a steel chair. Maff is busted open now. Meanwhile the Saints find a creative use for a table, a ladder, and a chair at the same time to bust Whitmer open. Punk beats on Whitmer in the ring. Steel works on Maff outside the ring. Punk brings the barbed wire 2×4 in, and Whitmer covers his head so Punk hits him on the arm. He hits Maff in the gut and across the back with it. Whitmer’s arm is bleeding now too. Out of desperation Maff and Whitmer fight back. Whitmer hits Punk with a board-assisted Russian Legsweep. Maff hits Punk in the groin with the barbed wire board. Steel gets the same treatment. Maff brings the big barbed wire board in the ring. Punk goes for a swinging DDT but Whitmer shoves him off and Punk lands on the barbed wire. Whitmer goes for an exploder but Steel stops him and goes for a suplex. Maff moves the board so Whitmer doesn’t have to feel the barbed wire. Punk tries to throw Maff through the barbed wire board set up in the corner, but Maff reverses the momentum and cannonballs Punk through it! Steel gets Maff back in the ring and throws him through the remaining section of the barbed wire board. He hits a Pearl River Plunge for a two-count. Back in the ring all four men have a chair in their hands and they look ready for war. Maff and Whitmer deliver the first shots, and then they take their shots as well. They chop each other and then deliver chair shots once again. Punk and Steel come back with a couple of brutal chair shots in their own right. Maff and Whitmer go to the floor and start throwing chairs in the ring and the fans follow suit! It’s an official chair riot as the ring fills up with chairs. All four men get back in the ring and fight on top of the chairs. Maff hits Punk with a half-nelson suplex. Punk comes back with a German Suplex on Maff. Steel and Maff are fighting outside the ring. Maff sets up a ladder in between the barricades and slams Steel on it. Whitmer goes up to the top rope to dive on him, but Punk breaks that up by slamming Whitmer back on the pile of chairs. Steel recovers and slams the ladder into Maff’s face a few times. He sets Maff on the ladder and Punk dives off the top rope right on top of Maff. Steel goes after Whitmer back in the ring. They battle up on the top rope and Steel grabs Whitmer in a Super Tombstone through a table and onto the pile of chairs to get the pin at 27:41. That was a sick match with tons of blood and brutal spots. This was a great way to end the feud and totally felt big-time. These guys took a lot of abuse for our enjoyment.
Rating: ****¼

The Second City Saints try to celebrate but Generation Next comes out to attack Punk and Steel. Cabana comes out to try and make the save but he gets beaten down as well. The crowd chants for Steamboat and they get him, but Gen Next is able to cut him off and beat him down too. They tie Steamboat to the ropes and beat down the Saints in front of him.

The Pulse: This is a terrific show that I have fond memories of from being there live. The main event is a great memorable brawl. The World Title match and Jimmy Jacobs versus Alex Shelley were both very good, and most everything else was at least solid. They didn’t do any backstage promos, which gave the events a different feel. As usual, Death Before Dishonor lives up to the hype of being one of ROH’s biggest shows of the year.

I grew up and now I write for Inside Pulse. Oh, and one time I saw a blimp!