Ring of Honor set their record for attendance at their 7/19 "Death Before Dishonor" event in Elizabeth, New Jersey at the Rexplex, with about 1,000 in attendance. The audience was an interesting mix of hardcore wrestling fans and a younger demographic of females and children who were there to see Jeff Hardy.
Complete results of the show, which saw several surprises, the farewell of Paul London, and what would be a most newsworthy debut for Jeff Hardy saw:
*The event opened with the members of Special K taking over the show and turning it into a rave. Ring announcer Stephen DeAngelis came out to try to start the show but was shoved down. The Christopher Street Connection and Ariel came out to break up the party but were laid out. Low Ki came out and destroyed several members of Special K, leading into a singles match where he brutally beat Deranged en route to a submission with the Dragon Clutch. Ki's stuff was brutal beyond belief. It was his first match back from his dislocated collarbone.
*Matt Stryker pinned Jimmy Rave.
*In a Weapons Match, Rudy Boy Gonzales, Hotstuff Hernandez, Fast Eddie, and Don Juan defeated Justin Credible, HC Loc, Tony DeVito and Masada. Chaotic brawling. Hernandez injured himself (possibly on an over the top rope tope to the floor) and was out on his feet for the finish and didn't remember the match after. At one point, Credible was Gonzales brawled to the back because Credible had taken a hard bump and lost feeling in his arm. It eventually returned and he was OK after the show.
*Tony Mamaluke and John Walters defeated the Outkast Killahs. The Ring Crew Express came out to mock the Killahs for losing another match. Xavier hit the ring, laid out Marcos and Dunn. Gary Michael Cappetta interviewed him and Xavier announced he was back and entering the promotion's Field of Honor tourney.
*Tom Carter pinned Doug Williams.
*BJ Whitmer defeated Homicide, Danny Maff, and Colt Cabana to win the promotion's #1 contender's trophy. Whitmer was busted open from the nose from a kick by Homicide. The crowd really got into this one.
*Special K and Mikey Whipwreck defeated the SATs and The Backseat Boyz in a Scramble Match when Whipwreck pinned Trent Acid with as Whippersnapper. The Backseats left the SATs laying with the T Gimmick. Scott Chong from Tough Enough was the latest member of Special K.
*Jeff Hardy defeated Joey Matthews and Krazy K when Hardy pinned K with the cruncher. Hardy came out wearing a mask and a trenchcoat, which he took off as the match went on. The crowd was loudly anti-Hardy from even before he came out, which only intensified when spots weren't hitting correctly at certain points in the match. By the end of the bout, the majority of the audience live had washed their hands of Hardy. There was even a "Go get well" chant, which is just brutal.
*CM Punk pinned Raven in a dog collar match that saw both men bleeding and brawling around the Arena. When the referee was bumped, Colt Cabana hit the ring and hit Raven with a chair. Former ECW star Danny Doring (who was in the crowd and ripped on by Punk on the house mic) hopped the rail and brawled to the back with Cabana. Punk scored the pinfall. Punk taped Raven's arms to the ring ropes and began mocking his sober state by pouring beer down his throat, with the implication that he was going to force Raven "off the wagon." WWE's Tommy Dreamer, in street clothes, hit the ring and DDT'd Punk to a huge "ECW" chant. Dreamer taped Punk to the ropes and freed Raven. Raven and Dreamer embraced. Raven admitted that Punk forced him off the wagon, but he wasn't working too hard to stay on it anyway. He then told Punk (who's gimmick is that he is straight edged, i.e. no drugs or alcohol) that he claims never to have tasted beer, but he would tonight. Dreamer and Raven forced Punk to drink the beer before celebrating and leaving to Dreamer's old ECW theme.
*ROH Tag Team champions AJ Styles and The Amazing Red defeated Marc and Jay Briscoe in their "final" meeting when Styles pinned Jay Briscoe with the Styles Clash.
*ROH champion Samoa Joe choked out Paul London in London's farewell performance in the company. Fans threw streamers into the ring for London's ring introduction. After the show, London gave a long speech thanking ROH and the wrestlers before spending nearly 40 minutes at ringside saying goodbye to fans as the promotion broke down the ring. The choke out finish came off flat in my opinion, but there was a lot of emotional attachment from the fans for London's last appearance. While the crowd was completely caustic for former WWE star Hardy, they were the most respectful group one could imagine towards one of their own going to WWE.
Notes: Lucy (aka Daffney) was backstage at the show but couldn't work as she signed her WWE developmental contract. Paul London is expected to move to Louisville, Kentucky in several weeks to begin work for OVW....The promotion announced a 11/1 return....Beyond the attendance record, It was likely the most money the promotion has made on merchandise in one evening tonight.
ROH Death Before Dishonor can be ordered at ROHWrestling.com.
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