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ROH YEAR THREE ARCHIVE: LOOKING BACK AT RING OF HONOR'S MOST CONTROVERSIAL YEAR

By Mike Johnson on 2004-12-28 20:40:00

ROH ALL STAR EXTRAVAGANZA II

RING OF HONOR IN ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY LIVE REPORT FEATURING BOBBY HEENAN VS. JIM CORNETTE
by Mike Johnson

Ring of Honor returned to the Rexplex in Elizabeth, New Jersey last night for All Star Extravaganza II, which featured the first in-ring meeting of Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette. The show looked to have drawn in the 550-650 range. Complete results saw:

*Four ROH students defeated Special K’s Izzy & Dixie & Angeldust & Deranged in 4:54. They finally did the Special K split between the side that wanted to party and the side that was trying to keep straight and wrestle.

*Jay Lethal pinned Prince Nana's Weapon of Mask Destruction in 6:39. Not sure who Mask was yet. He actually left the building with his mask on.

*The Outkast Killas defeated Dunn & Marcos, The Carnage Crew, and Danny Maff & BJ Whitmer in a Scramble Match in 9:21. Crew and Whitmer/Maff brawled from the start of the match on, including a great ECW style brawl through the ringside fans and out of the venue. Great stuff. Loc got banged up during the match and was walking around a little gingerly but he was OK as he’s a tough SOB. DeVito nearly got into it with a goofball fan who got a little too close to the action. Good stuff all around here.

*ROH Pure Wrestling champion John Walters defeated Jimmy Rave by countout in 16:51.

*Low Ki fought Austin Aries to a 20 minute draw in a bout where the winner would get a title shot at Samoa Joe’s ROH championship. Gary Michael Cappetta came to the ring and announced that if the fans wanted five more minutes, ROH would sanction it. The fans wanted it, Aries agreed, but Ki walked out saying he didn’t want to give the fans anything they wanted. ROH later announced that since Aries was willing to continue, he will get a title shot at Joe on 12/26. Expect a big push for Aries over the next few months.

*ROH Tag Team champions The Havana Pitbulls defeated Chad Collyer and Nigel McGinnis in 16:25 of a good back and forth bout.

*The Great Debate between Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette was the highlight of the show as Heenan and Cornette came out to great reactions and thanked the fans, the put each other over. Heenan put over what a classy company ROH was and how happy he was to be there. He went to leave and Cornette turned heel on him, cutting one of the most awesome promos I’ve seen in years about how for the last 22 years he’s emulated Heenan and wanted to be the best, but everyone always said he was the best other than Bobby. He said that WWF, WCW, and cancer couldn’t kill Heenan, so when was Bobby going to lay down and die so Cornette can get what he wants, to be the top manager of all time. Heenan said he would never leave wrestling and now that a group like ROH was around, he would stay for another 150 years. Crowd popped for that. Cornette got angry but said that he respects Bobby and wouldn’t do anything physically to him. Jack Evans and Roderick Strong came out and roughly grabbed Heenan. They teased they were going to beat him but Colt Cabana and Jimmy Jacobs made the save. Heenan said that if they wanted to see who the best manager was, they could find out tonight by managing both teams. Crowd loved that.

*Trent Acid pinned John Jameson (name may be incorrect) in 3:26. I believe Jameson was a student of Tony DeVito.

*In a really funny homage to old school Memphis, Colt Cabana and Jimmy Jacobs (managed by Bobby Heenan) defeated Jack Evans and Roderick Strong (Managed by Jim Cornette) in 17:34. They did lots of comedy spots including Heenan punching out Evans and Strong. In the end, Cornette tried to interfere but got nailed with his own tennis racket by Heenan. I’ll talk about this more later but this was an awesome moment to watch live if you grew up in the 1980s when Jim was the top guy for the NWA and Bobby was the WWF’s best heel manager.

*American Dragon Bryan Danielson pinned Homicide in 25:29. Homicide’s crew beat down Danielson afterwards, “injuring his arm” going into his match with Low Ki on 12/26.

*ROH champion Samoa Joe defeated CM Punk in a no time limit bout at 31 minutes with a choke. Ricky Steamboat was at the timekeeper’s table and before the bout, ripped on Mick Foley (who had made comments about Steamboat at the last show here). Steamboat teased that he wanted to meet Foley face to face the next time they were in the same place. This was a great back and forth match. Punk got busted open early on. Punk went for a powerbomb at one point but Joe turned it into a hurrancanrana. Great stuff all around here. At one point, Joe tried to use his feet on the ropes to pin Punk and the crowd turned on him for cheating, chanting “F*** You Joe.” After he finally forced Punk out, Joe challenged Mick Foley on the mic to face him in the ring. No idea where that is going yet.

Notes: The venue opened up a sports bar. Not sure how much of an effect the alcohol is going to have on the fans down the line, but it didn’t seem to cause any problems last night....The Maximos came by to promote their FUSION show this Friday in the same venue. ROH management welcomed them in and gave their blessing for them to hand out flyers and wished them well with the show....A lot of fans I spoke to expected Punk to get the belt before the show, so ROH did a really excellent job of building to the main event....There were fans from Japan, Canada, and California in attendance at the show last night, as well as all over the Eastern seaboard.

ROH NOTES & NEWS
by Mike Johnson

CM Punk popped his shoulder out during his main event against Samoa Joe at ROH's Elizabeth, New Jersey on 12/4. He finally popped it back in the next day and isn't expected to miss any ring time.

The Elizabeth show drew between 550-650, which was down from the 1,000-1,100 they had the previous month from Jushin Liger's appearances, which shows what a huge draw he was for the company. One of the things ROH does has in their favor when the crowd is down is the sheer amount of merchandise they move in one evening, because all night on 12/4 there was a group of fans buying stuff at the tables. ROH returns to the Rexplex on Saturday 2/19.

You can expect to see more of Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette in ROH next year, although nothing has been set yet. Heenan was really impressed with the entire promotion as a whole. He and Cornette filmed a future DVD release on 12/3 which according to one person that was at the taping, blows away the Mick Foley shoot interview. That's a really strong statement to make. The DVD should be released in January.

Spanky is scheduled to return to the promotion early next year.

ROH is already building a rematch between Pure champion John Walters and Jimmy Rave, with the idea that Prince Nana is protesting Rave's countout loss on 12/4 because had he not been thrown out of ringside, he could have prevented it. I wouldn't be shocked to see Rave end up with the Pure title down the line as it seems like they have been building him for something major the last few months.

Another performer you can expect a big push for in the next few months is Austin Aries, who is being set up as a top level guy in the company after his bouts with CM Punk, Low Ki, and Bryan Danielson. Aries is in a similar position to where AJ Styles was in 2002, in that he'll likely break out in a huge way, barring injury, in 2005.

Jay Lethal's masked opponent on 12/4 was Flash Flanagan.


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