So I just came into every Ring of Honor PPV show from 2002-2007. So I'm going to review shows until I get bored every couple of weeks. Like every great journey we should start this one at Ring of Honor's first ever show!
Da Hit Squad pump up some smarks on a bus- Painfully bad. First of all, this entire speech comes off as a bad rip off of Paul Heyman's pep-talk to the locker room before Barely Legal 1997, except this is made even worse by the fact that these guys just traveled state lines on a bus for an indy card, so I think they know the state of the business and what to expect. What makes me nervous is that the fact that these two jabronis were selected to do this because they're the best promos on the card.
Da Hit squad pump up "local fans" Even worse. Da Hit Squad just amble over to a group of people who happen to be around. They're not waiting in line or anything, so how do we even know they're fans? One of the guys makes a joke about "It's so cold that you have to wear sweaters in Philadelphia even when it's hot at out!" which was such a lame joke I decided I never wanted to see Da Hit Squad again. But they manage to get them back because wrestling fans will chant anything if you tell them to..
We finally get taken to the arena for....
The Christopher Street Connection and Allison Danger make their entrance: These guys are 100 percent committed to their characters, to the point where they're actually kissing fans, and actually make out themselves, which made me love them, but the commentary team (Steve Corino and Eric Gargiulo) are spewing homophobia, saying that "Crazy gimmicks don't belong in Ring of Honor". Instead of screaming that at me, why not show me something that DOES belong so I get an idea tonally of what to expect? .And yes I get that in kayfabe the CSC came out here without letting anyone know, but out of kayfabe why would that be how you open up your first show? Speaking of which we get.....
This is a bad squash. Da Hit Squad win, and blatantly rip off The Dudley Boyz by powerbombing Allison off the top rope through a table (who, might I add did nothing wrong but associate with two gay men). complete with the trance, and attempt at the same slow zoom onto the guy's face.
Da Hit Squad cut another promo]- At this point I'm tired of typing, Da Hit Squad. Anyway they shout into the microphone.
Jay Briscoe promo- Meh. Hilarious knowing the outstanding promo men both brothers would become.
Amazing Red promo Meh, but at least he had an impactful closing line and a memorable hand sign.
These two told a serviceable story, with Jay being the technical powerhouse, whereas Amazing Red dazzled with high-flying. Jay pulls out a Muscle Buster at one point which pops the crowd, as well as a top rope Gore. THIS should've opened the show for sure. However the kickout at 2 of the Jay Driller (even though it was just a rope break) irked me I liked the prevailing plot point of Jay going up top and being thwarted. The finish comes when Red hits a Red Alert and a Standing Shooting Star Press after Jay messes up a senton (AKA the finish to nearly every Amazing Red match) for the win. The two shake hands after the match. and Steve saying this is "All about Honor" makes me think that the Code of Honor has been eluded to but not outright stated
4.5/10 You can tell both of these guys have potential, but the wrong man won here, and the match didn't end on its most impactful move.
Low Ki promo- Excellent. Why wasn't this one of the first promo we saw?
Homicide and his friend Boogaloo show us his non-existent neighborhood. Excellent. It took me forever to realize that one of the people involved was Homicide, he looks so young. Apparently Cide's neighborhood (apartment complex?) was destroyed, so he, along with Boogaloo, have nothing to go back to. In order to symbolize this, and to honor the chicken dishes his mom used to fix, he produces a rubber chicken. Normally comedy props in a serious promo would irk me, but I'm kind of encapsulated by these characters. Also part of Homicide's gimmick at this point is a scary rubber mask.
Xavier acts like a douchy veteran to an under age (?) kid. Bizarre, and a waste of time.
Scoot Andrews promo, Boring. I couldn't be less interested in Scoot.
Xavier has potential, Scoot bumps around and hits hard,, but does nothing to in`terest me. Also the two guys just do moves.
Post match: Scoot teases turning heel and leaving the ring. Xavier makes a big deal out of the fact that this is Ring of Honor, which prompts Scoot to shake hands. Eric finally mentions "The Code" here. You'd think for as defining of ROH this would become, you'd think the Code would've gotten more of an explanation.
The Boogie Knights and some other guys are scared away by a chainsaw We learn that the owner of said chainsaw is Natural Born Sinners, Homicide and Boogaloo. Homicide gets right up to the door window with his scary mask. This was a bit over the top, but it worked on me.
It's weird to think that The Boogie Knights and Prince Devitt shared a theme song at different points in history. Boogaloo comes out with a chainsaw. So far the NBS are the most interesting people on the card in-ring. It's like if The Gangstas and the Steiner Brothers got their DNA spliced. The match ends in a DQ when Homicide starts beating the shit out of the Boogie Knights with a rubber chicken, which actually sounds like it hurts. Also the referee, who the commentators make sure to point out is an ex-wrestler, tries to talk tough to the NBS, but the ref gets stabbed with a fork for his troubles, complete with loud screams of pain.
The Boogie Knights flee the building Excellent. They aren't even concerned with changing clothes, they just want to flee the NBS. They've done an excellent job of portraying the NBS as the most dangerous guys around.
Amazing Red vs. Brian XL vs Jose Maximo vs Joel Maximo vs. Chris Divine vs Quiet Storm w/ special referee Mikey Whipwreck
The NBS tell a camera man to leave- They're mad about the finish of their match, this was bad
Rob Feinstein, Prince Nana, and the Towel Boy : Meh. It sets up that Feinstein has unexpectedly given the Towel Boy (who'd wiped down the ring earlier) a chance against Prince Nana. Also kinda hilarious to watch Feinstein tell a twinky looking young man that he has " a great body" Steve Corino had to leave the commentary booth for some reason to tell Towel Boy to "get himself over"
This was a bad squash. Towel Boy came across as a bit....ummmm...."special", miming that he was going to break Nana in half, and stopped to wipe down the ropes, much to the delight of the crowd. Nana kills him in half a minute.
Michael Shane and Oz vs. Ikaika Loa and Spanky
The commentary team is the best it's been all night. They provide exposition, that Spanky is the cocky heel, and Shane/Oz are the hardworking babyfaces, and also explains that if you're on the winning team but don't get the pin, you don't get a contract. Also all four men have history as they're all Shawn Michaels trainees. Also another plot point is that Loa is working injured, and Spanky has to make the hot tag to him. Loa takes a HIDEOUS bump from the ring to the floor at one point. When this match broke into a four way it really piqued my interest Shane and Loa spill to the outside allowing Spanky to hit Sliced Bread and pin Oz.
Mikey Whipwreck books a match with translation help from Super Crazy : Unintelligible. Something about a 3 way dance?
The ref from the NBS match makes a phone call: A good promo with a hearty slice of intrigue. He and his friend are coming after NBS.
Eddy Guerrero vs Super Crazy
Eddy looks like scowling WCW Eddy here. He also comes out to "Smooth" by Carlos Santana so I popped. What follows is a classic, modern WWE PPV main event worthy match. Eddie works heel, and Super Crazy fights for the comeback. The rollup win was just enough of a fluke that it could lead to other matches wherever they wrestle next.
This match has literally everything. Technical wrestling, hard hitting strikes, crazy three man moves that I seriously thought were just limited to TNA Unbreakable, and even some things I've never seen before (two kicks colliding causing a double down, a top-rope abdominal stretch, a Twisting Phoenix Splash to break up a Cattle Mutilation where Low Ki appeared to land on Daniels' neck) Ki lands a Ki Crusher for the win.
Post-match: Dragon and Daniels both think that they could beat the other two guys in singles matches, so Low Ki proposes a Round Robin match for next month. Daniels and Low Ki adhere to the Code of Honor, setting him up as the top heel in the promotion.
Overall, this was your average indy show, with one match that would sculpt the identity of not only one of the top promotions in the US in its wake, but the business itself for the next decade. . Go and watch the Triple Threat, please