RING OF HONOR GLORY BY HONOR II
By Eric McHugh
Ring of Honor returned to the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia on September 20 for Glory By Honor II. It was a solid show overall but there were a few negatives, one in particular which I hope does not become an ECW-like habit. This is just a quick rundown since it's 2:15AM and I wasn't really in note-taking mode at the show, plus a few names were hard to hear over the audio.
Showcase card began at 6:30 promptly. First match saw The Outkast Killahs go over on April Hunter/Slyk Wagner Brown. Pretty good opener, and yes April was a female in there with three males. She totally blew her first spot and it turned the crowd against her for the whole match, but everyone was good overall. Best spot: Slyk did an Ultimate Warrior-style press slam drop and followed right up with a backflip splash.
Second Showcase match saw Angel Dust of Special K defeat Joey Matthews, who played the face tonight (important to know now because of something later).
Showcase Main Event: Jimmy Jacobs (who does a Berserker "Huss" gimmick) over Josh Daniels, Roderick Strong, and a name I couldn't hear. All four were awesome and got a standing ovation afterwards.
At this point it was about 7:15 and the show itself was to start in 15 minutes. I went outside for a smoke, and there will still 100-200 people outside. As a result, ROH decided to announce on several occasions that the show would start in 5 or 10 minutes before finally just out-and-out saying it would start whenever everyone could get in. Meanwhile, all of us hearing this were trying to figure out where in the hell these 200 others were going to fit, because chairs were filled from one end of the room to the other. Finally at about 7:50 the show began.
So OK, now for the event itself. First match saw BJ Whitmer go over on Jimmy Rave. Solid opener, Whitmer wins with a top rope powerbomb.
Second match saw Xavier go over on John Walters. Both guys busted it big time and afterwards Xavier heeled Walters by not shaking his hand and instead leaving with Lollipop from NWA:TNA (who pretty much added nothing to the whole night). Walters cut a promo saying next time he'd beat some respect into Xavier.
Third bout saw Teddy Hart over TJ Wilson. Good stuff, and Hart especially left a big impression on the crowd, winning with a gorgeous Shooting Star Press.
Fourth bout was half of the Raven-CM Punk challenge. Raven took on Punk's choice of an opponent: Steve Corino. Corino was out with some Zero One buddies of his, and the Zero One ring announcer proceeded to list about 40 names of guys that Corino has beaten. At one point he had to stop and chug some water before continuing. This may have been the funniest ring introduction ever, even better than Pat Patterson's. The almost-bald Raven went down to Corino thanks to interference from Punk. However, afterwards Corino slapped Punk saying he didn't need his help.
Fifth bout: Colt Cabana over AJ Styles and Chris Sabin and Matt Stryker. Great stuff, Cabana won with the Colt 45.
After intermission we had the tag-team gauntlet for the vacant belts. The first two teams wrestled a 6-man, with the winning team and all successive matches being 2-on-2. In the first match, three guys from Special K (I'm still trying to learn them all) defeated Justin Credible/Carnage Crew by DQ because Crew used belts. Terrible finish, especially found stupid by the crowd because 5 seconds earlier about 5 other Special K guys interfered. At any rate, next out were the Briscoe Brothers, and they defeated the two Special K members, then made quick work of Dunn & Marcos as well (to loud boos). The fifth team out were two other K guys, who took out the Briscos. Final team, and winners, were the Backseat Boyz, your new ROH tag champions. Afterwards, K jumped the Boyz until the Briscos and Teddy Hart ran out and cleared them away; Hart did an insane twisting leap from the top rope to the floor at one point. Hart saluted the crowd from the heart and mouthed emphatically, "I'm coming back!"
At this point, Gary Michael Cappetta came out to have us all bid congratulations and good luck to Alexis Laree, who recently signed with McWorld McWrestling McEntertainment. Laree got a great response and thanked everyone. Just as she finished, Special K came out and cornered her. Joey Matthews (Alexis' real-life squeeze) ran them off with a chair. As Matthews checked on her, Alexis planted a kiss on him. Matthews played it up all flustered and raised her arm...and then clotheslined the hell out of her. He and K prepared for an Alexis beatdown when out came the big bodyguard of K. However, he wound up hitting one of the K members instead. At this point it turned into a mess as 3 or 4 other guys ran in and no one in the crowd knew who was fighting who. Finally, someone played referee and said "We have a match" and Alexis wrestled and defeated one of the K guys. After that the snazzy-dressed person went on some more on the mic but everyone was tired of this angle minutes earlier already. Alexis deserved a much better sendoff than this; the crowd was just lost.
Second half of the Raven-CM Punk challenge saw Terry Funk defeat CM Punk by DQ. Punk came out to what I believe was new music and the crowd popped for it when it ended, and Punk then delivered a solid anti-Funk promo that you need to read or see to really appreciate, because right now I couldn't do it justice. Crowd hated the finish, which saw the DQ happen when Punk wouldn't release a figure-four and Funk was in the ropes. Funk's still doing moonsaults too, and he looked as Funktacular as ever. Afterwards, Punk and a second person I couldn't make out were beating on Funk until Raven ran in, followed quickly by...Tommy Dreamer! The former ECW triumvirate cleared the ring and the crowd as well as the trio basked in the nostalgia. Dreamer than thanked Funk for all he's done and put over ROH.
Main event: Samoa Joe successful defense against Christopher Daniels. Great bout, crowd totally into it, and Daniels hitting the Angels' Wings made the place go berserk; the 2.99 count as well as the crowd reaction to it was off the charts. After the match, Joe went to Daniels but instead of shaking his hand, gave him the finger and left.
Misc.: When Funk arrived outside, he was as good-natured and lovable as Ol' Uncle Terry always is. A fan was saying he'd seen his Japan Death matches, and proclaimed "You are the ****ing man!", to which Terry replied as only Terry can, "I'm an idiot!" Also seen before the show were Steven Richards and Zach Gowen. Richards was seen by many, which makes me wonder if he was a red herring, because everyone expected him to run out and help Funk and it turned out to be Dreamer, who no one had any clue was there. Overall, good show up to ROH standards, but I certainly could do without the wall-to-wall humanity...either book a bigger building or adhere to the sellout, but don't make it an unsafe and uncomfortable environment. Phily return date is 12/27.
RING OF HONOR DODGES TWO BULLETS LAST NIGHT
by Mike Johnson
I attended last night's Ring of Honor event in Philadelphia, PA. Eric McHugh sent in a live report, so check out Eric's report for his opinions on the show. Here are brief results and Notes from the show, including two major hassles the promotion went through before the opening bell even rang:
*The Outcast Killahs defeated Slyk Wagner Brown and April Hunter in 6:25. The Crowd was heavily deriding Brown and Hunter during the bout.
*Angeldust pinned Joey Matthews in 7:36.
*Jimmy Jacobs beat Roderick Strong, Alex Shelley and Josh Daniels in 13:18 of an excellent Four Way.
*In a Field of Honor Match, BJ Whitmer defeated Jimmy Rave in 9:25.
*In a Field of Honor Match, Xavier defeated John Walters in 10:46. Lollipop (TNA) came out to ringside. Allison Danger came out but was sent back. They aligned Lollipop with Xavier as she cheered him on and left with him after the match. Walters said on the mic that Xavier doesn't respect anyone and he was going to teach Xavier about respect the next time they got into the ring.
*Teddy Hart defeated TJ Wilson in 7:42 with a shooting star press. Hart looked more impressive than Wilson.
*Steve Corino defeated Raven after CM Punk interfered and Corino hit a superkick in 13:10. Corino slapped Punk after the match, saying he didn't need his help. Corino was accompanied by a huge entourage which including Zero-One ring announcer Bobby Cruz reciting a huge list of every wrestler Corino had ever defeated.
*Colt Cabana defeated Chris Sabin, Matt Stryker and AJ Styles in 18:56. Cabana pinned Stryker. This was the best match on the show with tons of innovative moves and fast action.
*Special K's Hydro, Angeldust and Deranged defeated The Carnage Crew and Justin Credible) in a six man gauntlet match. Special K advanced in the Gauntlet for the vacant ROH Tag Team championships....Jay and Mark Briscoe beat Special K in 2:47....The Briscoes defeated Dunn and Marcos in 1:45....The second Special K team, Izzy and Dixie defeated the Briscoes in 5:21.... The Backseat Boyz defeated Izzy and Dixie in 3:53 to win the ROH Tag Team Titles. Special K attacked the Backseats. The Briscoes and Teddy Hart made the save setting off a series of awesome dives. This looks like the setup for the promotion's 11/1 Scramble Cage Match with Platforms in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
*Gary Michael Cappetta introduced Alexis Laree for her farewell ceremony. The fans threw streamers and she gave a speech thanking everyone. Special K came out and went to attack her. Joey Matthews ran them off, only to attack her as well, so he's back in Special K. Julius Smokes and the Rottweilers (Slugga and Benny from the Bronx) made the save and Alexis defeated Cabana from Special K in a quick match with Smokes as the referee.
*Terry Funk in his ROH debut defeated CM Punk by DQ when Punk would not release the figure four at the ref's 5 count as Funk was grabbing the ropes. The storyline was that Punk was trying to crippled Funk. Punk did a promo mocking Funk's All Japan retirement speech. As much as it pains me to say this, Funk looked really old out there. Colt Cabana teased he wanted Punk to stop, but then joined in beating on the attack. Raven made the save. As the brawl continued, WWE's Tommy Dreamer hit the ring. After everyone else left, Dreamer gave a brief speech thanking Funk for everything he did for the business. The fans chanted "ECW" and then "ROH."
*ROH Champion Samoa Joe defeated Christopher Daniels in 15:03 with the Island Driver. Awesome match with tons of false finishes.
Notes: The promotion dodged a major bullet as they were contacted late Friday by the local fire marshal who informed them there was an anonymous complaint about the size of the crowds at ROH's events at the Murphy Recreation Center. The Marshall informed the promotion that if they went beyond 400 fans in the building, the show would be shut down immediately. As you could imagine, having a show shut down would be crippling to the promotion's health, so it was stress city in the ROH offices. About 200 fans waited outside hoping to get in, but ROH was unable to allow the fans entry until the marshal arrived. While the fans were waiting, ROH sent a number of performers, including the Backseat Boyz, Samoa Joe, and Jimmy Jacobs out to thank them for the support and to ask them to hang in there. The actual "main show" started 30 minutes late as the promotion was trying to work out the situation. PA State Athletic Commission official Frank Talent went to bat in a major way for the promotion when the fire marshal arrived and the fans were eventually allowed into the building. The promotion was very thankful that there were so many fans that were willing to wait for a chance to support the product. The feeling internally with ROH was that another promotion had phoned in a complaint in an attempt to sabotage the show as the report was phone in. The marshal acknowledged the situation was "shady." It certainly looks like no one has learned from the mistakes of the promotional rivalries from last year that left Philadelphia crowds down and several promotions defunct. ROH really has no choice but to seek out a larger venue, because next time, they may not end up with such a positive ending to a situation like this one....WWE's Zach Gowen and Steven Richards were backstage visiting....As if the promotion didn't have enough stress, they found out the day of the show the company they contracted for their lighting had gone out of business, and had to scramble to find a new lighting company and get them set up in time for the show....Philadelphia FOX affiliate channel 29 was at the show with a camera crew, filming a feature that will air in November during sweeps....They reconfigured the building setup for this show and announced a 12/27 return to Philadelphia at the Murphy Recreation Center [Note from Mike Johnson: As it turned out, this ended up being the promotion's last night in the venue as they moved into the National Guard Armory.]....There was a huge "F*** you Jasmin" chant at the onset of the show from the fans as word was going around that there was 3PW involvement in the fire marshal situation, which is something that is absolutely not confirmed. There has been heat between the two promotions in the past....Thanks to Paul Sosnowski for the match times.
ROH Glory By Honor II can be ordered at ROHWrestling.com.