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ROH YEAR TWO ARCHIVE: AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT RING OF HONOR'S SOPHOMORE EFFORT

By Mike Johnson on 2004-12-24 00:31:00


ROH THE CONCLUSION

ROH DOUBLESHOT WEEKEND LIVE REPORT: NIGHT ONE
ROH IN FAIRFIELD, CT
By Mike Johnson

I hit the road this past weekend, driving up and down I-95 for what will be looked back as an important weekend for Ring of Honor as the promotion ran on a holiday weekend and drew decent crowds both nights, despite all the outside interference regarding venues for their Saturday MA event.

Both shows were solid events with several excellent matches near the top of the card, as well as the best Scramble match in the promotion's history in CT. If there is one thing to expect when attending an ROH show, it is a hard work ethic as most of the workers are very hard hitting and athletic well versed workers. I've heard some comment about the lack of size in the company, but to me, that is one of ROH's blessings as it allows the faster, harder back and forth athletic matches. No one ever complains about cruiserweights in boxing. To me, ROH is a series of cruiserweight boxing matches.

The promotion opened up it's weekend on Friday 11/28 as they returned to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, drawing 400 fans for the first of their doubleshot events this weekend. That was down from the previous time the promotion ran the facility. I'm all for ROH running a University, but I'd like to see how they draw when the students who actually dorm on campus are attending the school when they run a show. The actual show was built around the “final” match of the CM Punk vs. Raven feud as well as the a storyline where Punk is seeking to learn who attacked and eliminated his girlfriend Lucy from ROH when he was in Japan at the promotion’s Dayton, Ohio show last summer. Punk, who is perhaps the best indy guy around when it comes to mic work, really impressed here.

Full results of the show saw:

*Allison Danger pinned Stacy Stock. Stocks is a Canadian worker who has worked for AAA in Mexico.

*Bison and Slugga defeated The Solution when Slugga hit the Bodybag on Pappdon.

*Slyk Wagner Brown pinned Jimmy Jack Cash

*Special K’s Hydro and Angeldust defeated Dunn and Marcos.

Gary Michael Cappetta came out with several envelopes with the stipulations for the main event and pulled an “Old School Steel Cage Match” for the Punk vs. Raven match. Punk came out and declared he didn’t care about the match and he would learn who took out Lucy and would make the evening hell for everyone until he learned who was responsible.

*The Backseat Boyz defeated Outkast Killahs with the T-Gimmick. CM Punk came out to confront the Backseat Boyz and asked if they knew anything about the attack on Lucy. The Backseats said they didn’t know anything and didn’t care.

*Homicide forced John Walters to tap out to a STF variation. Punk was still in the ring when both came out and questioned Walters, then had words with Homicide and manager Julius Smokes as they came towards the ring. All of this was done on the fly without anyone knowing that Punk was coming out to the ring, which just showed how well everyone goes with the flow in the company and can play off what goes down. A solid back and forth match. Homicide did some mic work about the barbed wire match in MA. Homicide is an awesome worker, but his mic work should be left to Julius Smokes at all times. Homicide's raspy voice doesn't give the best delivery while Smokes is always intense.

*The SATs defeated The Carnage Crew, Hotstuff Hernandez and Fast Eddie, and Special K’s Dixie and Cloudy in a awesome Scramble match. Cloudy was knocked out taking a facefirst bump off of an SAT swinging pendelum submission and was rushed to the back. Great, two shows and two knockouts in Fairfield. HC Loc, who put the match together with Tony DeVito, booked a finish on the fly that saw Hydro take the Spanish Fly and get pinned. Cloudy was looked over by EMTs and taken to the hospital as a precaution but was OK. This was the best Scramble match the promotion has presented to date, with everyone shining. Hernandez did some awesome spots here including grabbing poor Cloudy by the throat and suplexing him into the air, as well as a ferocious dive over the ropes.

*Christopher Daniels defeated Jimmy Rave. Solid.

*Josh Daniels pinned Steve Corino after Homicide interfered and hit a top rope ace crusher as Guillotine LeGrande was arguing with the referee. Homicide told Corino to kiss his son goodbye, because Homicide was going to kill him in the no ropes barbed wire match. They filmed a backstage angle where Homicide and Corino tried to go after each other. The story of the match before the interference was that Daniels wouldn’t stay down for the count, even after Corino hit a number of high impact moves. Corino’s ring announcer Bobby Cruise did an introduction running down a list of famous wrestling midgets, naming “Tazz” in the middle of the list. Cruise and ROH ring announcer Stephen DeAngelis did a bit where DeAngelis accused Cruise of carrying Corino's bags. I hated that. I don't see the point of ring announcers doing mini-bits like that, especially when the babyface is the one acting like the heel. If anything, DeAngelis should be selling for Corino's crew, not playing tough guy. Leave that for the workers.

*Matt Stryker pinned Xavier with a deathvalley driver to win Block A of the Field of Honor. Stryker is sporting a beard and longer hair, and looks like Vince Russo would if he was an athlete and could wrestle. Stryker is one of the guys the promotion hopes will break through in the next few months and I could see it as he's working hard to add to his look and character as of late. The promotion has a number of excellent workers who haven't gotten over the bump yet to break out, but they could at any point if they connect with the audience on the level that a Paul London did.

*BJ Whitmer defeated Danny Maff and Colt Cabana to win Field B of the Field of Honor after pinning Cabana with an Exploder. CM Punk came out and confronted Maff, saying he was told by Steve Corino the Prophecy was behind the attack. Punk was awesome here, breaking down at one point while asking Maff to tell him the truth, man to man. Maff said that the Prophecy and Punk’s Second City Saints don’t get along, but Maff swore on his father's grave that The Prophecy wasn't involved in the attack. I'm not crazy about using Maff's father's name in angles, but if he is comfortable with it (and I am sure he is doing it as a way to memorialize him), then I can't say it's wrong.

*ROH Tag Team champions Jay and Mark Briscoe defeated ROH champion Samoa Joe and AJ Styles in an excellent match. Styles accidentally hit with a lariat, setting up Jay to hit a shooting star press for the pin. Joe and Styles had word after the match to build to their MA ROH title match. Great match.

*CM Punk defeated Raven in an “Old Fashioned Steel Cage Match.” They could escape the cage or score a pin or submission for victory. This was a big step up from their previous cage match. Punk hit a legdrop off the top of the Cage. Both men bled. Punk climbed to the top of the cage and was crotched on the open door. Raven and Punk battled, with Punk finally jumping to the floor to win. Punk said that beating Raven was priceless and swore to find out who took out Lucy in MA. For those wondering (which is quite a few based on emails I've already received), Raven will continue in the promotion and they filmed a vignette involving Raven and Becky Bayless last night, which I presume will lead to a storyline involving Special K. Speaking of Steel Cages, I had the chance to catch the first Raven vs. Punk Cage match from 9/6 on video and the promotion has done nothing less than a miracle with the editing and commentary, as I thought it was way better than it was live.

ROH The Conclusion can be ordered at ROHWrestling.com.


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