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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 JOE VS. PUNK II

RING OF HONOR IN CHICAGO RIDGE, ILLINOIS LIVE REPORT INCLUDING ONE HOUR CM PUNK VS. SAMOA JOE ROH TITLE BOUT, MICK FOLEY & MORE
By Ryan Deppa

Ring of Honor in Chicago Ridge, IL
October 16, 2004

I just wanted to give you a quick update on what went down tonight in Chicago. I'm sure someone will end up sending a more detailed version anyway.

*The first match of the night was interrupted with a beatdown by the Carnage Crew. I didn't catch the names of the two opponents and I didn't recognize them. Maybe a couple guys from the school? The Crew cut a promo about being hardcore afterwards.

*Jay Lethal d. Delirious with a Dragon Suplex.
This was an ok match for the opener. I was excited to see Lethal, but there was a difference here from the reports I had read on him previously. This is probably due to the fact that he was in there with Delirious as opposed to Low Ki.

*Traci Brooks d. Daizee Haze with a Lariat.
This was the first time I'd seen a women's match in ROH live. It was actually pretty good, but of course the crowd was making the obvious comments. Traci did look smokin' though. She worked pretty well and would be a good addition to WWE's roster.

*Matt Stryker d. Dixie a variation of a reverse Figure Four Leglock.
I got to see two members of Special K tonight after them not being at the previous two Chicago events. There wasn't much to this one, but it was a nice little match.

*Josh Daniels d. Angel Dust & Matt Sydal & Trent Acid when he rolled up Angel Dust.
Acid is hilarious and was most of the reason why this match got a pop from the crowd. The finish was interesting as Acid was in the middle of pinning Sydal, but it was too late because Daniels had already pinned Angel Dust.

*Nigel McGuiness & Chad Collyer with Ricky Steamboat d. BJ Whitmer & Dan Maff with Mick Foley in a Wrestling vs. Hardcore match.
This was actually two matches in one. It began as a regular match with Ricky Steamboat leading the Pure Team against Mick Foley's Hardcore Team. The two cut a promo before the match that was just priceless and worth the DVD alone. Steamboat laid into Foley about his wrestling being garbage wrestling. Foley came back and gave him a hard time about actually making a joke and being entertaining outside the ring for a change. He also ripped into Flair, Batista, and Triple H. The first match was interrupted by the Carnage Crew again so it was restarted as a hardcore match. It wasn't really all that hardcore, but in the end the Pure Team pulled it out. Nigel is really fun to watch. All six men shook hands after the match.

There was an intermission. Steamboat signed autographs, but Foley didn't. I could only assume it would be due to the chaos that would happen.

*Carnage Crew d. Said Workers from First Match with Top Rope Spike Piledriver. This was your basic Impact squash match.

*Jack Evans & Roderick Strong d. Homicide & Rocky Romero
The crowd was split in this one as both teams are heels. Jack Evans continues to get more heat than anyone however. People ooh and aah for his acrobatic moves, but they're all over him for his gimmick. The Rotteweilers seemed like they were going to pull it off, but Generation Next was victorious in the end. The finish escapes me at this point, but it's pretty late!

*Alex Shelley d. Jimmy Jacobs in an I Quit Match
The one thing that always amazes me is the way ROH can elevate new talent. Jacobs has been around for awhile, but he really stepped it up in my opinion. With guys like Colt Cabana, Ace Steel, Steve Corino, Low Ki, and American Dragon not being at the show, other guys continue to make names for themselves. This was a really good match that included Jacobs pulling a big nail out of his boot to use as a weapon. Of course he was the one that got busted open with it (pretty blatant blade job later on by the way). Shelley taped him to the turnbuckle at one point also. Jacobs did a great job of playing the comeback role. Shelley ultimately one by submission. Afterwards, Shelley talked about really wanting to injure Jacobs which came off kind of creepy. Strong came out to help in the attack, but Steamboat made the save. The Carnage Crew came out once again, but Foley's team of Maff and Whitmer made the save. Foley said that it was his "hardcore" wrestlers that bailed out Steamboat this time. Foley and Steamboat eventually shook the hands. The score between the two teams was said to be even at one a piece.

*CM Punk vs Samoa Joe for ROH World Title went to 60-minute time limit draw.
For the record, there were a lot of headlocks and rest holds in the beginning of the match. This was fine by me because I knew this match would go the distance and they were building this up slow. With that said, the crowd was getting restless which was really annoying. At one point a buddy of mine who shouted something was "punked out" by CM Punk and told where the door was. That was a little embarrassing. The crowd did get into it as the match went on, but to me this was just a great thing to see live and in person. It just made you think that the title would actually change hands. No description could do this match justice. Punk went for many attempts of the Pepsi Plunge only to be knocked off or reversed by Joe. All of a sudden the ring announcer told us there was ten seconds left and the match went to a draw. Punk agonized after the match and actually grabbed the belt for a minute only to give it to Joe. The two stood face-to-face before the champ left. Punk got on the mic and told the crowd that he would be victorious if the two met in February at the next scheduled ROH show in Chicago. The crowd really wanted the title change and started a "five more minutes" chant, but to no avail.

Overall, this was a great show though the crowd was disappointing during the main event. I could understand the frustration, but as I said, it was really annoying. It was great to see Foley in person as well as he and Steamboat in the ring together. I can't wait until the return show.

SECOND RING OF HONOR IN CHICAGO RIDGE, ILLINOIS LIVE REPORT
by Jimthy

You've gotten results already, so here are some thoughts on ROH's return to Chicago Ridge, Illinois:

The Carnage Crew was all over the show to be sure. Really, that's ok with me, as I do like the Crew. However, it's a really strange feud. When they came out during the Maff/Whitmer vs. McGuinness/Collyer match, they never once touched McGuinness or Collyer (or at least not that I remember). Granted, Steamboat then ran them off with a chair (getting a little "hardcore" are we Ricky?), but it was just odd the way it played out.

The Hardcore vs. Pure match in itself was strange. It got thrown out as a no contest, then Mick Foley said "Let's show 'em hardcore" and apparently the match began again under hardcore rules. Then Steamboat finally returned (after running off the Crew) and grabbed the mic and said "Nigel, get back to pure wrestling, back to wrestling" and within about 2 minutes, Nigel pinned BJ Whitmer. It was just kind of like "Ok...what did I just see there?" It wasn't a bad match, just kind of strange. I'll be intersted to check it out on DVD when it comes out, and see if the commentary will help put it all together.

The other matches on the card, outside of the last three (which I'll get to in a minute) were just kind of "there" for me. They weren't bad, in fact, the Four Corner Survival was actually pretty decent, but they weren't anything to write home about.

Homicide/Romero vs. Evans/Strong was a great tag team match, at that point, it was the match of the night, no doubt. They'd get outshined in the main event, but it was still an incredibly good match. Stiff slaps and kicks, awesome submissions, and oh, yeah...this guy Evans has something with this high flying stuff! (note sarcasm). Actually, it was the best I've seen Jack Evans look. He was on fire last night. I could actually see him and Strong as a babyface tag team down the line. The crowd was pretty split down the middle on this one though, as with two heel teams you might expect.

Shelly/Jacobs was a really brutal and good match. I did prefer their match in July in Chicago to this one, but it was a good one just the same. I thought it would have been funny if when the ref asked Jacobs if he wanted to quit if he just yelled "Huss" everytime, but alas, he didn't. Both of these guys are so good in the ring, and are just boiling over with charisma, it isn't fair. They should both be top level guys soon I think.

That brings me to the main event. When it started, my cell phone said it was 10:22, so I kept watching the time. After about the first 5 - 10 minutes, it was pretty obvious to me that they were going to go 60 minutes, or at least really close. Even believing that they'd do the draw, by the last 5 minutes, they had me dualy believing in the draw, and that Punk would win the title. I actually jumped up and down for joy when Punk got to the ropes while in the STF late in the match. I NEVER react that way to match!

It was really cool to see Gabe Sapolsky out in the crowd watching the last 20 minutes or so of the match too. He was clapping along with the crowd and kept cheering along. Right at the end of the match, HC Loc came out and stood right near our section of GA seats, and I was almost 100% sure that Punk was going to pull it out and that he just wanted to be out there to experience it, but alas, it was for not. After the match, Punk pretty much challenged/announced/hinted that there will be a rematch February 26, 2005 in Chicago. My best guess is that they FINALLY take the belt off of Joe that night, which will be a HUGE night in Ring of Honor history, and you'd better belive I WILL be there!

You can order ROH Joe vs. Punk II at ROHWrestling.com.


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