RING OF HONOR IN WAKEFIELD, MA WITH RAVEN VS. CM PUNK CAGE MATCH LIVE REPORT
By Mike Johnson
Ring of Honor returned to Wakefield, MA at the Charbonneau Field House on Saturday 9/6, drawing 750 fans for the promotion's first Steel Cage Match, the start of the "Field of Honor" round robin tournament, and the return of the Briscoe Brothers to the promotion. Full results of the show saw:
*In a pre-show angle, The Backseat Boyz arrived late (which they actually have been getting heat for lately) and heading for the locker room, pass Homicide and manager Julius Smokes (signing autographs) who tell them to show up on time. Trent Acid blows off Homicide, saying that he didn't have to listen to him, because he beat him. This sparked off a brawl with the Backseats leaving them laying. The Carnage Crew, who were also selling autographs were inciting the entire scenario.
Prior to the first match, the promotion announced that Low Ki (broken jaw), Xavier (shoulder issues after hurting it working in New York two weeks back), and Danny Maff (still out with head and neck issues from the Low Ki kick on 8/16) would all be missing the show due to injury and offered refunds to anyone who wanted them.
*In a Field of Honor bout, Colt Cabana pinned Jimmy Rave. Good opener. Field of Honor is a round robin deal designed to build up some of the undercard guys into a more prominent position.
*Slyk Wagner Brown pinned Diablo Santiago of the Outkast Killahs. April Hunter laid out Oman Turtugo after the match when he tried to claim she was eyeing him. MA fans were into Slyk, who's a local here.
*Backseat Boyz won a Tag Scramble match, defeating the SAT, Dunn and Marcos, and Special K. Good match, especially the sequence of dives. Joel Maximo has really been losing weight, which is a good thing as it helps him with his timing. He hit an awesome one man Spanish Fly off the ropes to the floor, onto everyone. After the match, Homicide and Smokes, with Benny from the Bronx (A Homicide student who's in his "Crew" here) challenged Trent Acid to a singles match later on. Acid said that he already defeated Homicide in a "Fight Without Honor" and had nothing to prove. Homicide offered to never return to ROH if he lost. Acid agreed, but only if it was a wrestling match. The match was added as a surprise bonus to make up for the missing talent that was hurt.
*In a Field of Honor match, Matt Stryker pinned John Walters. Stryker is growing his hair out. Another good wrestling match. Walters, who is from these parts, vowed that when the promotion returned on 11/29, he guaranteed victory.
*The Carnage Crew of Justin Credible, Tony DeVito, and HC Loc defeated the Special K combo of Hydro (JCW J Cup winner Jay Lethal), Deranged, and Angeldust (Azrael in NYC indys). This was a good six man, although a little disjointed timing wise at times towards the end. Crew, who do a gimmick of frustrated men who hate their wives and families (Think Al Bundy if he could rip your head off) are going to end up babyfaces. Much like Public Enemy in the old ECW in 1995, the crowd is going to end up turning them. Julius Smokes came out and left with Special K's bodyguard Slugga. They are teasing a relationship there with Slugga and Homicide's crew. Credible pinned Deranged with a That's Incredible off the turnbuckles. Loc and DeVito ended up piledriving Becky Bayless off the apron through a table. It looked completely sick, as she didn't tuck her head until the last moment. Just brutal. Crew is my favorite gimmick in the promotion right now. Hydro/Lethal is going to be a star one day.
*Marc Briscoe, making his return to the promotion pinned BJ Whitmer. Crowd, which was dead for all but the high spots, came alive for this one and stayed that way for most of the rest of the show. This was awesome. Briscoe and his older brother Jay had left the promotion in July as they were going to play college football and would be restricted from other athletics. After a few weeks of deciding it wasn't what they wanted, they quit playing and returned to wrestling. I don't know why I keep getting asked this question, but yes they are still going to college. Briscoe hadn't lost a step with time off.
*In the best match of the night, Homicide pinned Trent Acid. Acid was busted over the eye legit by a stiff shot, and ended up breaking Homicide's nose with a Yakuza kick. This was out of this world awesome. In one sequence, they kept hitting Yakuza (Mafia) kicks on each other until they came off the ropes and hit them on each other at once. Just tremendous.
*In his return to the promotion, Jay Briscoe defeated ROH champion Samoa Joe, NWA champion AJ Styles, and Chris Sabin in a Four Way, pinning Sabin with the Jay Driller. Styles was announced as NWA champion but didn't have the belt. Sabin showed a ton of charisma here, messing with everyone before the opening bell. This was another off the charts match. The stipulations were that if Joe won, whoever he defeated could never get an ROH title match but if anyone else won, they earned a title match. Everyone looked great here. Excellent match.
*As the promotion set up the Steel Cage for the main event, Gary Michael Cappetta conducted a Q & A with Justin Credible at ringside. After answering several questions from fans (including the ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIs Triple H a jerk?ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â and ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œDid Sunny really screw Bret way back when?ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â questions), a planted question of "Do you like Estacy?" was asked and Special K jumped him. The Carnage Crew hit the ringside area but the rest of Special K (there are like 169 members) attacked them and laid them out. The Credible Q & A part was really entertaining and I was sorry to see it end so quickly.
*In a Clockwork Orange House of Fun Steel Cage Match with Weapons, Raven pinned CM Punk with a DDT off the top rope through a table. The crowd was completely into this until the moment they started wrestling. Punk's entrance and persona is so top notch, it isn't funny. There went right to weapons (chairs, a kitchen sink, and different metal pans, etc.) right away and the crowd died when the weapons shots weren't stiff enough and/or looked like the weapons were flimsy. When today's audience is trained to expect near-death experiences for things like this and don't get it, the balloon is let out bigtime. They went to the traditional cage spots like throwing each other into it and raking their faces across it, but it was too late and they had lost the crowd. Raven tried to get out of the Cage at one point and Colt Cabana slammed the door in his face. Somewhere, Terry Gordy was smiling. Raven was handcuffed to the cage and beaten for a long time. They really tried but the crowd never got back into this.
After the pin, the lights went out and when they returned there was a huge "X" in the ring (Punk's backstory is he is straight edge, which is symbolized by the X) with Raven tied to it and barbed wire wrapped around his face. One would think they would have to go to a gimmick with barbed wire from this point. So, Raven won the battle but Punk keeps the upperhand in the war. It'll make for a nice visual on the tape, that's for sure. I personally hate the crucifixion style angles, but that's just me.
Notes: The promotion returns here on 11/29, the Saturday after Thanksgiving....While the show drew excellent for the promotion, I can see a pattern of the bigger buildings they run resulting in shows with less crowd heat. It happened on 7/19 in New Jersey and again here. I'm not sure if it's they are drawing fans who aren't as passionate as the fans who would show up no matter what, or just fans aren't as vocal when they are farther back from the ring, but it's interesting to theorize. The group continues to grow way faster than anyone would have guessed. Even with a venue change just 2 weeks before the show, the promotion drew an excellent house....Homicide leaves today for his first tour with Zero-One....The promotion marketed a special T-shirt for the Raven vs. Punk Cage Match....Terry Funk debuts for the promotion on 9/20 in Philadelphia, PA at "Glory by Honor II" facing Punk while Raven will face the returning Steve Corino....The promotion bought the Steel Cage for use in future events. It looks top notch. The promotion's continued committal to production values helps set them apart from other indy promotion.
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