RING OF HONOR IN ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY LIVE REPORT; PROMOTION SETS RECORD ATTENDANCE
by Mike Johnson & Joe Mistretta
Ring of Honor, empowered by fans in the New York City area for Wrestlemania XX, drew a record crowd of 1,800 at the Rexplex in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Saturday 3/13. The show was the first event run by the promotion since the Rob Feinstein situation broke publicly, with it being announced that Feinstein was removed from the two companies he founded, ROH and RF Video.
Complete results of the show saw:
*Prior to the show, there was an angle where Dusty Rhodes was signing autographs and got into it with Ox Baker. They ended up by the ringside area and Rhodes hopped in the ring and cut a promo.
*When the show began, fans threw streamers in the ring I guess as a show of support for the company.
*The Amazing Red won the Six Man Mayhem Match over Mark Briscoe, Sonjay Dutt, Jack Evans, Teddy Hart and Jimmy Rave in 11:07. This was Red's return match from his knee injury and subsequent surgery last year. They pulled out a lot of dives. The crowd was into Hart bigtime but I was told he was even more over at last week's CZW. Hart and Evans disrespected everyone after the bout and were attacked by everyone.
*Gary Michael Cappetta interviewed Julius Smoked, who challenged ROH champion Samoa Joe on behalf of Homicide.
*Xavier pinned Slyk Wagner Brown in 7:26. Xavier challenged Samoa Joe after the match, saying he had never received a rematch from when he lost the belt. Joe came down dressed in a suit and they faced off.
*The Solution came out and cut a promo about not being on the evening show after having "the best match on the afternoon card." They tried to bully Dunn and Marcos who were checking out the ring, but Dunn & Marcos continued their "We Ain't Gonna Take It Tour" by laying them out with a series of moves while the Twisted Sister song played.
*Jerry Lynn beat Nigel McGinnis in 10:59 to earn a show at the Pure Wrestling championship with the Cradle Piledriver. Due to the sightlines in the building, I couldn't get a good grasp on the match.
*Matt Stryker beat John Walters to win the #1 Contenders Trophy in 15:33 with the Stryker Lock. There was a lot of matwork and back and forth wrestling here.
*The Prophecy's Danny Maff and BJ Whitmer fought to a No-Contest with The Second City Saints' Ace Steel and Colt Cabana) in 7:55 when the referee couldn't stop the brawling out of the ring. This was a brutal back and forth match with some cool dives. The respective managers, Tracy Brooks and Allison Danger got into it as well. The crowd chanted "bullsh-t" at the finish. Both teams kept brawling, which led to a huge pullapart with many of the workers on the undercard hitting the ring.
*AJ Styles pinned CM Punk to retain the Pure Wrestling Title in 24:10 with Ricky Steamboat as the special referee. This was a great back and forth match. The story of the bout was Styles had to come out from adversity as he had used all of his rope breaks while Punk had only used one. After the match, Joe came out to confront Styles as they argued over who was the real champion in ROH. Steamboat told them both that they equally were champions of the promotion and put them both over. Punk took the mic and ripped on them both and then ripped on Steamboat, claiming he couldn't see AJ's arm went down three times when he was locked in a sleeper. Steamboat and Punk had words. Steamboat tried to leave and Punk went after him. Steamboat chopped Punk, armdragged him, and hit him with a karate chop. Punk retreated and Steamboat received a huge standing ovation. Great segment.
*ROH champion Samoa Joe beat Jay Briscoe in a Steel Cage to Retain the ROH Championship in 14:16 with the muscle buster off the top rope. Briscoe was an absolute bloody mess. They did attempted escapes here, including Jay's brother Mark trying to pull Jay through a hole in the steel cage made by Joe's running boot scrape on Jay in the corner. AJ Styles came out to stop Mark from interfering. Joe took the house mic after the match and said that there were doubters who thought Briscoe wasn't a capable challenger and he was one of them, but Briscoe proved them all wrong. After the match. Joe slammed the cage door into Styles' face getting out of the ring and the two hard words in the aisle. Great match.
*The Carnage Crew (Loc & Devito & Justin Credible & Masada) beat Special K (Dixie & Izzy & the returning Deranged & Slim J & Hydro & Cloudy & Lord knows who else) in 12:28 to win Scramble Cage II. It started out with Loc and Dixie. Crew won the cointoss so they had the advantage with Devito coming in second. At one point, a ladder was placed across the top of the cage with Izzy and Masada battling on it. It ended up with everyone in K hitting the cage and beating down the Crew. Dusty Rhodes came out and hit bionic elbows on everyone. Ox Baker came out and got into it with Dusty. Credible caned everyone. It ended up with Devito and Loc spikepiledriving Angeldust off the top of the cage through two tables for the pin. As one fan said to me after the show, this was the 2004 version of Rocco Rock moonsaulting off the top of a steel cage through 2 tables on New Jack in ECW. Just a sick main event. This sent the crowd home happy. There was no sign or mention of the storyline involving Devito's "daughter" at the show.
Notes: This was a decent show that I suspect the out of towners loved. It didn't come off as the huge release that some expected it to be coming into the show. The work in the top three matches, the Prophecy-SCS tag and the six way was top notch. The other matches, which were mat based, didn't get over with me personally but I have an admitted dislike for the sightlines of the building. Those within the company was completely ecstatic about the show....There was a meeting before the show with the workers basically rallying them and stating again that Rob Feinstein is gone, because no one would still be working there if he wasn't. The Feinstein situation continues to be a much discussed topic among those online but it didn't translate into any protesters (which was being talked about) or even chants at the show in regard to the situation....The promotion did beef up its security staff last night as a precautionary measure.....The electronic billboard outside the building was advertising Roddy Piper up until the show. Oops. With Piper pulling out, the promotion adding Dusty Rhodes. The promotion avoided a bad blow earlier in the day when Rhodes' flight booking was somehow canceled, but ROH scrambled and got him to the show on time. Rhodes signed free autographs as a goodwill gesture towards the fans....Teddy Hart ended up leaving the locker room after his match and was hanging around outside the building in a limo with Sabu and in the lobby of the Rexplex. The promotion didn't know Sabu was coming. They would have been happy to put him on the show but he declined....The promotion didn't have the new DVDs on sale as expected. There was some sort of shipping error that sent them to the offices instead of the building. I wonder why they just didn't have someone drive to PA?....There were fans from all across the world at the show including Australia, the UK, Belgium, Scotland, France, and Japan....ROH has released a Teddy Hart t-shirt....Incredibly, there were no injuries coming out of the show.
ROH Do or Die II Live Report
Joe Mistretta Reporting
Ring of Honor's afternoon card at the Rexplex drew about 600-700 fans with the following results:
- Special K member Mellow (Sal Rinauro) beat Jerrelle Clark - Decent back and forth match. Clark did his impressive 630 splash but Mellow rolled him over and held the ropes for the win.
- The Solution beat Jared Steel & Todd Sexton
- Caprice Coleman beat Rainman - Julius Smokes came out after the match and did a promo asking to stop the black on black fight and asked that they become a team and enter the scramble match.
- Allison Danger w/BJ Whitmer beat April Hunter - Very quick match, over in under two minutes. Punk ran out after the match and attacked Whitmer. They brawled through the crowd and out into the Rexplex. Tracy Brooks then ran out and beat up Allison until Dan Maff ran out for the save.
- Jimmy Jacobs beat Brad Bradley - This was a good big man, little man match. They did all of the classic spots including Jacobs trying to take out Bradley's legs.
- Hydro w/Becky Bayless beat Roderick Strong - Best match of the afternoon card. Roderick Strong is having great matches every week now and I'd like to see him be brought in as a regular.
- Austin Aries beat Danny Daniels - Another very good match. Aries looked very good in the match and I think we'll be seeing more of him on the east coast, starting with his Super 8 appearance next month.
- Super Dragon beat Excalibur - This was a very good match, light years better then I thought it would be. These guys have worked together before so they were familiar with each other and had a good match. Dragon did a sick foot stomp from the top rope onto Excalibur's head.
- Fast Eddie & Don Juan beat Dunn & Marcos, The Outcast Killaz, and Caprice Coleman & Rainman w/Julius Smokes - A typical scramble match with lots of fast action and dives.
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