Ring of Honor Review – Glory By Honor 2002
Alright, we’re on to the next Ring of Honor show after Unscripted. This is Glory By Honor I, held on October 5th, 2002 at the Murphy Recreation Center. As a reminder of who the champions are, all the belts are held by The Prophecy, with Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan winning the ROH World Tag Team titles in that tournament, and Xavier beating Low Ki for the ROH World Title. Our hosts are Jeff Gorman and Chris Levi, with Steve Corino having left the announce booth as part of his (concluding) feud with Rudy Boy Gonzalez.
Match #1: Divine Storm (Chris Divine & Quiet Storm) vs. Special K (Izzy & Dixie) vs. The SAT (Jose & Joel Maximo) vs. Homicide in a Scramble Match
Homicide is wrestling alone as Boogaloo was injured at the hands of the Carnage Crew at the last show, and he’s not cleared to wrestle. Well… that’s the worked explanation. The real reason is that he signed an exclusive deal with XPW, but ROH wants to leave the door open for his return. In the mean time, Frack Rob Black. We start out with Special K getting the crap stomped out of them, with everyone getting their shots in, and Chris Divine’s valet/girlfriend hitting a moonsault on Elax (the 3rd member of Special K) before escorting him to the back. Basically, as this is a scramble match, there are no tags. One man goes out of the ring, another man goes in, one fall to a finish. In short, this is a very fast paced spotfest which I’m probably going to lose track of.
Finally, we get some order with Izzy and Joel Maximo in the ring. We get some good chain quick wrestling between the two, with Joel locking a Figure 4 on Izzy, who reaches the ropes. Joel & Izzy tag out, with Jose and Quiet Storm coming in. Lucha Libre chain again, with Jose getting the best of it. Jose and Storm come out, Divine and Homicide come in. Homicide gets a 2-count off a shoulder-breaker, but Dixie breaks it up. Joel comes in, locks Dixie in a torture rack. Izzie comes in, looks to break up the hold, but Jose stops him and sets up a sort of Torture Rack-Boston Crab-Camel Clutch combo with his brother called the Taffy Machine. Meanwhile, Homicide hits the Ace Crusher on Divine and applies a crossface. Storm comes in and applies a crossface on Homicide. Eventually everyone releases the holds when they realize this is getitng rather silly.
We now get the obligatory brawl on the outside with everyone hitting their planchas, topes, and other inside-out moves. During all this we get the occasional near-fall on the inside. We get the Maximo Explosion for 2. Divine hits a modified Manhattan drop into a dragon screw into a leglock that gets broken up. Frell it, I’m just going to call the submission or pin. homicide hits Dixie with the Cop Killa, and then locks Izzy in the STF.
Winner: Homicide by submission at 13:52.
Rating: Overbooked in spots, but otherwise impressive and innovative . ***1/2.
After the match, Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere (aka the Backseat Boys) of CZW hit the ring with a baseball bat and call out Homicide. Homicide calls for any tag partner from the back, and he gets Steve Corino.
Match #2: Homicide & Steve Corino vs. The Backseat Boyz
Corino & Homicide work the Boyz over in their corner. Things get turned around briefly. Anyway, we get both teams brawling in the ring until Homicide gets DDT’d on the apron, leaving Corino alone with Acid and Kashmere. Kashmere gets a 2-count . Acid ends up on the outside fighting with Homicide while Kashmere and Corino continue on the inside. Kashmere hits a modified surfboard but to no avail. Kashmere intends to hit a plancha to take out Homicide, but Corino hits a savate kick and a northern lights bomb for 2.
Finally, Homicide & Acid return to the ring. The Boyz get worked over briefly, before regaining control with a pair of spears. Corino locks the Cobra Clutch on Kashmere, until Acid breaks it up with a Yakuza kick and gets a 2-count before Homicide makes the save. Homicide goes for the Cop Killa, but it’s reversed intoa blue Thunder Driver for 2. The Boyz hit their tag team move, the Cosmic Atomic on Corino, but Homicide breaks up the pin.
Homicide hits an exploder on Kashmere, and Corino hits a Fisherman’s Superplex on Acid, followed by a splash by Homicide. Homicide goes for the Cover, but Corino pushes him of and goes for the cover himself, with Kashmere breaking it up. Further, when Homicide goes to save Corino, he accidentally hits him instead. Homicide goes for teh Cop Killa on Kashmere, but Korino kicks Homicide and leaves. The Backseat Boyz hit the T Gimmick on Homicide and get the pin.
Winner: The Backseat Boyz by pinfall at 6:44.
Rating: **1/2 – Good, solid tag match until the very end.
Match #3: The Christopher Street Connection & Allison Danger (w/ Japanese Pool Boy) vs. Joey Matthews, Christian York, and Alexis Laree
Matthews, York and Laree jump the CSC. Finally, we get some order with Mace & York in the ring. Gutbuster & Senton for 2 by York. Matthews is tagged in. Matthews and Mace chain for a bit, and then Buff E. gets the tag. Spinebuster and low-blow headbutt by Buff for the 2-count. Mace gets the tag and the CSC hits a combo bulldog and sidewalk slam for 2. Matthews reverses a suplex to an inverted DDT and gets the tag to Alexis, and she is a Casa… En… Fuego! Tornado DDT for 2 on Mace. CSC recovers though and hits the Gay Basher and tags in Allison, who gets the pin.
Winner: The CSC by pinfall at 4:45.
Rating: * – Meh.
After the match, Japanese Pool Boy gets the stuffing beat out of him. We get a promo with James Maritato about why he wants to end the FBI gimmick (and it bears wrestling that this is his last match in ROH before he goes to WWE… where he ends up wrestling under the FBI gimmick), and if he wins this match, the gimmick dies. Uh-huh.
Match #4: Tony Mamaluke vs. James Maritato (Winner gets the FBI gimmick)
Mamaluke cheap shots James. Great chain wrestling from both men. Lots and lots of submission holds. 2-count off a Sicilian Slice by Maritato. Mamaluke goes for a superplex but gets shoved off and hit with a missile drop-kick for 2. Maritato gets another 2-count off the Kiss Of Death. Finally, Mamaluke hits a superplex into a Butterfly lock, which Maritato taps out to.
Winner and new holder of the FBI Gimmick: Tony Mamaluke at 8:30.
Rating: ***1/2. Not bad at all. I could see these two guys wrestler for an half hour. Seriously, these guys wrestling are like RVD vs. Jerry Lynn or Masato Tanaka & Mike Awesome – it never gets old.
Match #5: Ikuto Hidaka vs. The Amazing Red
This is going to be crazy. We get some fast chain wrestilng. Hidaka gets a few moves in before Red gets control. So, this goes back and forth,a nd then it goes to the flor, then back to the ring, and then back down again. Red goes for a Tope, but gets hit with a drop kick on the way down. Hidaka takes Red back to the ring and starts to work the legs. Hidaka goes up top and gets nailed y a corkscrew kick by Red. Red eat a DDT but counters a vaulting move with another corkscrew kick that sends Hidaka to the outside. Red goes for a suicide senton and misses, though Hidaka sells it anyway. Red gets Hidaka back in the ring, hits a body scissors to a Fujiwara armbar, but Hidaka reaches the ropes.
More chain wrestling. Red misses the Red Star Press, but gets a 2-count off an Enziguri. Hidaka gets an elevated Drop kick, and Red rolls out of the ring. Red comes in and Hidaka starts working the leg. German suplex into a leg lock by Hidaka (never seen that one before), but Red reaches the ropes. Lots of quick near falls. Hidaka goes for a powerbomb buuuuttttt… (say it with me now) You Can’t Powerbomb Red! Red goes up and not only hits the Infra-Red, but the Red Star Press just for good measure, and gets the pin.
Winner: The Amazing Red by pinfall at 13:41.
Rating: **** – Very good, and would have been even better with a few more minutes, and possibly a feud to build it up.
Match #6: Don Juan vs. Fast Eddie (c) for the ETW TV Title
Both men are students at the Texas Wrestling Acadamy, and this is an exhibition match for them, with Rudy Boy Gonzalez at ringside. Some very nie chain wrestling to start. Apparently Eddie is legally blind. Let it not be said that the disabled can’t do well in wrestling. Great chain wrestling. Juan misses a spear and gets knocked to the outside, and Eddie hits an Asai moonsault! Eddie throws Juan in the ring and goes for a springboard something but gets caught and eats an Ace Crusher for 2. Juan goes up top, but Eddie hits a backflip knee strike and then a fallaway Samoan drop for the pin.
Winner and still ETW TV Champion: Fast Eddie by Pinfall at 3:23.
Rating: *** – very good. I hope both of these guys have promicing careers ahead of them.
After the match, Biohazard and Michal Shane rush the ring and attack Juan and Eddie. Corino comes out next, and talks smack to Rudy Boy Gonzalez. Gonzalez attacks Corino with a microphone, and the previously booked Texas Death Match is on.
Match #7: Texas Death Match – Rudy Boy Gonzalez vs. Steve Corino.
Rudy retains control. Steve is already bust open. Corino gets pinned but gets back to his feet at 6. Rudy takes Steve outside the ring and beats him against the guard rail. Rudy tries to dive/splash on Steve, but Steve moves and regains control. The fight returns to the ring and now Rudy is bleeding. The fight goes back and out of ther ing again, then back in, and Corino tires a cover but gets 2. God, Corino’s blond hair is turning red. Corino applies the Cobra Clutch and chokes Rudy out.
Winner: Steve Corino by knockout at 8:04.
Rating: **1/2. I’m no longer a big fan of the Hardcore style necessarily, unless both parties are bringing something special, and this wasn’t it.
Shane, Biohazard, and Corino continue the assault after the match, but Paul London makes the save with a ladder. Just for good measure, he takes out Shane and Biohzazard with a running senton up the ladder that was leaned against the turnbuckle.
Match #8: Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki (Fight Without Honor).
This is Joe’s first ROH match, and he’s debuting as the Prophecy’s hired gun. We’re starting off with striking before they lock up. Ki and Jo trie to ground and pound. Joe locks Ki in a half crap, and continues working the knee. We continue with strikes. Very MMA-like – except I’m not too enthused with MMA. God, theyr’e beating the crap out of each other. Finally, after a load of 1 counts, Joe gets a 2-count off a German Suplex. Ki hits a load of strikes but only gets 2. Tiger Suplex for 2. They just keep striking. There’s not much more I can do to call this. Ki finally gets the win after a massive flurry of strikes.
Winner: Low Ki by pinfall at 16:23.
Rating: **1/2 – I’m not a fan of the strike heavy MMA at the moment. Maybe if I watched more UFC or K1 or something I’d like this more, but this just isn’t my thing at the present.
After the match, Joe and Low Ki shake hands. We also see, I belive, Prince Nana beating the crap out of Elax. Dunn & Marcos come out and talk smack at Nana, but Mysterious Black Dude from Unscripted comes into the ring and cleans house.
Match #9: Jay Briscoe vs. Xavier (Non-title match)
Mark suggested this match to Daniels, because Daniels wanted a loser to put Xavier against. Both men lock up, and Xavier and Briscoe chain wrestle, with neither man able to get the advantage. Finally, Jay ends up locked ina leglock, but Jay breaks out. The chain wrestling,continues, with the announcers briefly mentioning ROH’s upcoming #1 Contender’s trophy, as part of their attempt to counter The Prophecy’s won’t-defend-the-title shenanigans. Anyway. Briscoe gets a 2-count on a big kick. Xavier gets a 2-count off a lariat. Jay gets a 2-count off an exchange of blows, and Xavier gets another 2 Count of a torture rack drop.
Briscoe regains control with a Death Valley Driver, and then lariats Xavier out of the ring. Jay goes for a flying double axe handle but misses and eats the guard rail. Xavier then sends Jay on a Magellan-like circuit of the ringside area. Xavier brings Jay back in the ring and ties him into the Tree of Woe. Spear! Jesus – Rhyno and Edge were never so brutal. Inverted Top Rope DDT for 2.
Briscoe gets a 2-count off a German Suplex, then after some exchanges hits a seated facebuster and gets 2 off a top rope leg drop. Xavier locks on a modified cobra clutch in to a cobra suplex. We suddenly get (apparently) clipped for some reason, and Jay Briscoe gets the pin with the Jay Driller.
Winner: Jay Briscoe by pinfall at 13:19.
Rating: *** – It was looking like a good match, but the apparent clipping hurt it. That said, the match really told a good story, with Xavier not quite taking Jay seriously at first, and then trying to fight back later, after he realized he was in for more of a challenge.
Match #10: Falls Count Anywhere – The Carnage Crew (HC Loc & DeVito) vs. Da Hit Squad (Mafia & Monster Mack).
Da Hit Squad enters through the fans. I’m going to have difficulty calling this match because, well, this is going to end up like a Public Enemy match – a lot of hitting people with stuff, not a lot of actual wrestling. Oh, and it’s going to go everywhere in the arena. Which it does do. Ultimately, Mafia gets piledriven off the hard camera postition thorough a table, onto the hard gym floor for the pin.
Winner: The Carnage Crew by pinfall at 7:53.
Rating: ** – Your standard hardcore brawl, but with bad camera work. Seriously, with the ECW arena, the camera position was such that no matter where the brawl went, you could generally tell what was going on, more or less.
After the match, Mafia is apparently injured. Meanwhile, Joey Matthews is out of it, and apparently Special K knows why.
Match #11: 3-Way Dance for the “Showstopper” Name – Spanky vs. Michael Shane vs. Paul London
London and Spanky work Shane over until they have a few mis-communications too many and turn on each other. Spanky gets 2 off a baseball slide. Shane ejects Spanky and works over London. 2-count off an Enziguri. London manages to regain control and hits 2 northern lights suplexes and a blizzard suplex for 2.
Shane regains control and hits a hangman’s neckbreaker for 2. London hits a shooting star press (off of Spanky) for 2. Spanky dropkicks London for 2. London goes up top, gets kicked off the top rope. Shane suplexes Spanky to the outside, but Spanky hangs on to the rope. Spanjky skins the cat and just in time, as Shane goes for a baseball slide and hits London instead. Spanky hits a pescado on Shane. London goes up next for an Asai Moonsault and gets caught.
Shane works over Spanky on the outside, and London clocks Shane. the fight returns oto the ring and London gets a 2-count. Finally, after much back and forth. Spanky hits Sliced Bread 32, but Shane superkicks Spanky so Shane can pin london at 10:20. So, we now have Spanky and Shane fighting on the outside. SHane takes it back in the ring and covers but only gets 2. The fight goes back outside, then back inside. Spanky goes for a diving elbow drop but gets drop kicked for 2. Shane applies a headlock but SPanky responds with one of his own. Shane hits a second rope elbow for 2. Shane hits Sliced Bread #2 but lands too far away and can’t capitalize. They continue fighting, fairly evenly. Spanky gets a 2-count off an Enziguri. Frog splash for 2. Shane gets a 2-count off a floating DDT. Shane hits a super kick and the picture picture perfect elbo for the pin.
Winner: Michael Shane by pinfall at 19:27.
Rating: **** – Very awesome match.
After the match Shane cuts a promo which I can’t hear because their mixing sucks. Basically, he entered in the match to keep anyone else from referring to themselves as the Showstopper, and he’s not going to use the name anyway. Okey then.
Match #12: Christopher Daniels (w/ Simply Luscious) vs. Doug Williams. If Williams wins, he can never shake hands in ROH again. If Daniels wins, he must shake hands.
Obviously, no handshake here. We get chain wrestling to start. daniels starts working the arm, while Williams works the leg. Doug is really working over Daniels. Daniels Regains control and gets a 2-count off a series of elbow drops. Another 2-count off a russian leg sweep. Williams goes for the Chaos Theory, but Daniels reverses it into a Stunner. Daniels covers but only gets 2. Williams briefly regains control, but Daniels gets 2 off an Inverted Atomic Drop & neckbreaker. Williams gets 2 off a floating DDT. Springboard Knee drop for 2. Spinning Fisherman Buster for 2. Daniels breaks out of the Chaos Theory and hits a STO. Daniels gets 2 off a Blue THunder Bomb. 2 Count out of the Best Moonsault Ever. Finally, after a series of near falls, Williams hits the Chaos Theory but Daniels rolls through the pin attempt and gets a 3-count using the ropes for leverage.
Winner: Christopher Daniels by pinfall at 13:14.
Rating: ***1/2 – Pretty good, but I would have liked more time.
After the match, Dick Togo comes out and nails Daniels with his crutch, and Jay Briscoe hits the Jay Driller, and the faces celebrate. After the show, James asks Tony to wrestle serious, or at least give it a try. The Prophecy cuts a promo on Jay Briscoe, and tries to recruit Steve Corino, who prefers to stick to his own agenda.