RING OF HONOR DO OR DIE PHILADELPHIA, PA LIVE REPORT
by Mike Johnson
Ring of Honor returned to the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday 5/31 for "Do or Die" with the theme of the show being that newcomers making their debut and undercard performers had their chance to shine and break through to the upper level of the promotion, since many of the "names" were off on International tours.
In "Spotlight" matches, Persephone beat Alexis Laree in a good match. Persephone has good heel charisma....Special K's Slugga and Hydro defeated Dunn and Marcos....One of the Outkast Killahs defeated Paul E. Normous.
Dunn and Marcos (The Ring Crew Express) came out and worked on the ring. They removed the mat from the ring. The lights went out and when they came back on, there was a new ring mat with the ROH logo on it. Dunn and Marcos cut a promo using their tag lines putting over the promotion and the new mat. They really have become almost the mascots of the promotion.
The promotion announced that Chance Beckett would miss the show due to a family emergency but would debut shortly. Alison Danger (now with blue streaks in her hair) asked who was going to join in the Four Way. Jimmy Rave came out and said he would take the slot. This came off flat.
*Dan Maff (formerly Mafia of the Hit Squad) defeated BJ Whitmer in 9:12 with a death valley driver. Maff was debuting in Philly with his new heel role as a member of Christopher Daniels' Prophecy. They started slow and then went to the floor. Whitmer whipped Maff into the guard rails, which now feature metal sheets with the ROH logo on them. When Maff hit the rail it made a huge "crack" which the crowd exploded for. They whipped each other into all four corners of the rail. This led to the crowd banging on the rails all night in appreciation for spots. Maff hit several suplexes on Whitmer's head, playing off the "concussion" he suffered at the previous Philly show. Maff cut his hand, which led to a lot of blood at the time, but it was actually only a scratch and he was OK after.
After the match, Maff was confronted by Julius Smokes, Homicide's mouthpiece came out with Da Hit Squad T-shirt Maff ripped off when he joined with Daniels' stable. He ran down Maff for turning on Homicide (his trainer) and forgetting where he came from. He called Maff a dumb "N" word. Crowd seemed shocked at that. Low Ki came out with his arm in a sling from his dislocated collarbone and told Mafia that he turned his back on The Code of Honor, so that means that sooner or later, they will meet in the ring. Mafia backed off and left. Low Ki then turned his attention to Smokes, saying that this was a place for athletes and honor, not thugs and the streets. Smokes began arguing with Low Ki but Homicide came out and tried to quell things. Low Ki left but Trent Acid, dressed as Homicide, hit the ring from the crowd and superkicked Homicide, playing off their feud.
*Tony Mamaluke forced Jason Cross tap out. Good match with lots of submissions.
*Iceberg defeated one of the Outcast Killas in 2:59. The other Killah was attacked by Iceberg as well. Iceberg had a spike and was going to use it, but Dunn and Marcos hit the ring and dropkicked his hand, forcing him to drop it, then pulling the Killahs to safety. Crowd hated Iceberg.
*Matt Stryker beat Tom Carter in 18:27. Really strong back and forth scientific bout. Crowd was into cheering for both men in the same way they were for the Paul London-Bryan Danielson bout at the last Philly show, but not as emotional. Carter didn't want to shake Stryker's hand after the match, which led to Gary Michael Cappetta coming out for an interview. Carter said that would make Stryker tap on 6/28 and challenged him for a "Tap Out" match. Alison Danger came out and they teased that Carter might join The Prophecy. Both men moved up a notch here.
*CM Punk and Colt Cabana won a four team scramble match defeating the Carnage Crew, The Briscoe Brothers, and Izzy and Dixie of Special K. This started off slow, different from other Scrambles, but soon turned into crazy spots after crazy spots. Punk and Cabana were managed by Lucy (WCW's Daffney), who was awesome in her role. Great match. Punk and Cabana did mic work after the match with Punk declaring that everyone that was straight edge were the soldiers of his revolution and his revolution would defeat Raven's when they met on 6/28 in an Extreme Death match. DeVito banged up his knee doing a moonsault from the top rope onto the floor when it hit the guard rail.
*In his ROH debut, Andy Anderson (a longtime regular with IWA Puerto Rico) defeated John Walters in 6:43. Solid.
*Christoper Daniels won a Four Corners Match, defeating CM Punk, Frankie Kazarian (making his debut) and Jimmy Rave in 27:01. Storyline here was that Rave took a lot of punishment but kept kicking out. They teased the first meeting of Punk and Daniels before it actually happened. Afterwards, Daniels said all three were potential members for the Prophecy and offered Punk a slot. Punk said that he would accept, but only if Daniels shook his hand (storyline is that Daniels believes the promotion's Code of Honor is a farce, and one of the rules is competitors must shake hands). Daniels teases that he will but doesn't do it. Punk warns him that they will meet down the line. This really was Punk's night to shine and he came through with a home run.
*The Backseat Boys defeated Special K's Slim J and Jodie Fleisch in 15:49. Special K has a blonde female member now. J got knocked out at one point in the ring but they were able to save it and get the bout back on track. They brawled outside the ring, where J and Fleisch did stereo moonsaults off a scaffold 12 feet up on The Backseats and the other members of Special K. Amazing sight and an insane risk. Possibly too insane. Fleisch was selling that he hurt his knee and couldn't go to the top. He told J to do it. The Backseats clipped Fleisch's knee and hit the T Gimmick (raised powerbomb) off the ropes on J for the pin.
*ROH champion Samoa Joe pinned Homicide with a Ki-Krusher (Low Ki's finisher) off the top rope in 18:17. This was an absolutely brutal spectacle with tons of strong style striking. Homicide was bleeding a little and Joe was sporting a swollen black eye afterwards. At one point, Homicide was out on his feet and Low Ki came out and slapped him to revive him. This is a must see match and possibly the best of Homicide's ROH career, which is saying a lot after his recent string of matches. After the loss, Ki and Julius Smokes had words.
The promotion ran an angle after the crowd had left featuring Christopher Daniels challenging Samoa Joe to an empty arena match, which led to a pull apart.
Notes: An excellent effort from the promotion. Since their anniversary show, they have really hit a good stride. It's amazing to see how far they have progressed. It's amazing to see the amount of talent who were working indy shows or in Japan and weren't on the show and then to see a show of this level put on. It really says a lot about the promotion's roster depth....The crowd was in the promotion's usual 450-500 range, a good sign as recent shows in the Philly area have seen the crowds dwindling. It was packed...The crowd bought into the theme of the show and treated everyone like stars....The promotion unveiled a new entranceway as well as the aforementioned guard rails. To look at this group's first tape and then see how they are presenting themselves, they have come a tremendous way....There is no set timetable yet for Low Ki's return to the ring....Carnage Crew's Tony DeVito has opened a wrestling school in Newburgh, New York. They will be training workers, refs, and managers as well as allowing a place for current workers to go. DeVito trained Xavier and is a really underrated performer. I'd recommend him to anyone who wants to break into the business the right way and learn the respect for the business. Anyone interested can contact Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROH Do or Die can be ordered at ROHWrestling.com.