NWK reviews ROH Honor Invades Boston

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NWK2000
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Joined: Feb 26th, '14, 00:52
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NWK reviews ROH Honor Invades Boston

Post by NWK2000 » Apr 17th, '19, 15:02

August 24, 2002
Wakefield, MA

Low Ki promo: Standard awesomeness that put over both AJ and the grueling nature of the match at Crowning a Champion.

Two Special K dorks hang out...but Elax pops out of a dumpster: Bizarre. The Special K guys appear to be doing random things and being dicks to each other, when Elax appears from a dumpster to give them water, giggling like a mad man in the process.

Quiet Storm vs Amazing Red

The guys do moves, but at least they tell the story of two men who have wrestled a dozen times, and make sure you know Quiet Storm is the heel. They go dive for dive, Red looks like misses the Red Star Press, but that's about the only negative thing I can say about the match.

5/10

Post match: Special K jumps both men, but the SAT/Chris Divine make the save, so now we get...

ROH Tag Scramble Rules
Special K (Izzy, Dixie, and Brian XL w/Elax) vs SAT and Chris Divine


This is a wacky lucha match with some innovative double/triple team sequences. The announcers provide some backdrop for who Special K are, basically rave loving, acid dropping punks. Eventually Special K puts on such a spectacular show that the announcers have to put them over which I didn't like. But good guys win so that's all that matters.

5/10

Post match: Chris Divine challenges Low Ki to prove to the world how good he knows he is. I like that lower card guys can just do this. So now we get...

Low Ki vs Chris Divine


Divine gets some surprise chops sin but after that Ki just murders the poor bastard. It puts Ki on another level, a guy that's so powerful facing him at anything other than 100 percent means death.

No rating, excellent squash
Christopher Daniels cuts a promo from Japan: Meh. He hits all the notes you'd expect from a Prophecy promo and says that ROH will be taken over at the September show.

Dunn and Marcos vs The Christopher Street Connection (w/ Allison Danger)

One of the CSC guys kisses the guard rail (which is probably disease infested) while a guy in the crowd screams "You're going to hell!". Also someone gets kisses on the neck, which gets a holy shit chant from the crowd. Allison Danger also disturbingly looks like The Kat here.

This is a squash for the CSC, they also have a Whoopie Cushion Cushion/Spinebuster finisher called The Gay Basher. A+
No rating, squash

Mike Tobin w/ Danny Drake vs Scoot Andrews

This is an ROH style squash, where Tobin gets his shit in, but then summarily gets destroyed. Unfortunately Tobin botched a bit.

No rating, bad squash

Post match: Xavier saunters out and challenges a still fresh Andrews, so we get....
Scoot Andrews vs Xavier

This is a showcase for the new, more intense Xavier, Scoot fires up a few times but ultimately loses to Xavier
6/10
Michael Shane arrives earlier today: He provides exposition about what winning an ROH contract means, and is a dick to Bio-Hazard who is the unwitting Diesel to his Shawn Michaels.

Michael Shane (w/ Bio-Hazard) vs Paul London (w/ Rudy Boy Gonzales

This is a pretty standard "Exciting babyface outsmarts the heel until the heel cheats" kind of match, until Paul gets thrown off the top rope by Shane, and what results is the most horrifying sounding guard rail bump of all time. Shane gets over being the technical heel while London is the firey babyface. They tease the Chris Marvel injury from Round Robin Challenge, but Shane rolls up London for the win.

This was the match of the night so far, bolstered by a great finish
7.5/10

Michael Shane gets the offer to join the Prophecy from Simply Luscious Excellent. Shane superkicks Luscious, Rudy Boy, and he and Bio-Hazard put more boots to Paul. This was awesome. Perplexing however, is where Corino stands. He takes a neutral stance on The Prophecy, while saying he doesn't like the Prophecy mere minutes later. He's also way less mad about Luscious getting superkicked than he should be.

Backstage Brawl between Low Ki/Dragon and Daniels/Morgan from Night of Appreciation: Weird that we're seeing this now. Also weird to see Spanky as a cowardly heel when we've fully cemented his face turn. I guess this provides context for the next match which is...

Donovan Morgan vs American Dragon

The story of this match is that Dragon works the arm while Morgan stays in or near the ropes so he can't be pinned. Morgan eventually gets his heat. Dragon fires back with some cool submission counters but Morgan fires back. We get a double down. Morgan has more heat, and Dragon fights back eventually locking in the Cattle Mutilation and just as the ref starts doing the arm drop test for Morgan, we get a time limit draw.

This was an inversion of the Dusty finish that I didn't like very much, but it was a good match other than that.
6.5/10
Post match: Bad. Dragon is giving out to the ref and demands five more minutes. This works in about every other draw situation, but not this one. Dragon offers Morgan his hand to quit the Prophecy. Morgan gets dropped.
Hit Squad promo: Meh
Carnage Crew pretape: Pointless

Boston Massacre Match
Da Hit Squad vs Carnage Crew

Immediately the problem with this match becomes apparent. Carnage Crew's strength is working with smaller guys and so having to work with Da Hit Squad handcuffs them to doing generic hardcore stuff, whereas Da Hit Squad rips off All Japan and Dusty Rhodes' elbow while looking like he's paralyzed on one half of his body. For some reason these generic hardcore guys are the guys causing Hit Squad the most trouble, which makes them seem lame. Da Hit Squad bring in barbed wire boards while Carnage Crew is up and mobile, and instead of selling this like something they should be afraid of, they're all happy about it??? Because they're stacked up in the corner this becomes a barbed wire match by four schmucks pretending to be Terry Funk and Sabu. They trade barbed wire spots, and Da Hit Squad win.

I did not like this match on a plane, I did not like it on a train. This show is already painfully average and a slog to sit through on its own. One of the main matches not delivering just makes me angry
DUD

Bio-Hazard w/ Michael Shane vs Don Juan

This was an ROH squash, which was absolutely the wrong move, especially if you want Bio to be a credible bodyguard to Michael Shane.
No rating, bad squash

NECW Heavyweight Championship
Alex Arion (c) vs Maverick Wild

Oh, THIS is what we need, a local indyfed with their "Heavyweight" title on the line with no context. I put heavyweight in quotes because Arion looks like an even-tinier Sonjay Dutt.
After some crusierweight pin exchanges Maverick looks like he goes for a blood choke, but I'm sure that was unintentional to feed Arion his arm for the armbar. Nonetheless it got my attention. At least the armbar justifies armdrag spots later. Maverick smacks some feeling back into his arm only for Arion to go back to the arm. Lots of big moves and strikes interwoven with arm offense. You can tell these guys are trying their hardest, and succeeding. I like how they work a babyface comeback while still infusing new school based "MOVESZ" into it. In the dumbest shit I've ever seen, Maverick does a slam in the corner which would indicate he's going for some top rope move. Instead, he misses his own Stinger Splash, but bounces back into a senton. Just do a senton dude it's fine. Maverick takes his own arm drag bump off an Irish Whip, and Arion has the momentum after a missed move. We do the same spot again, and Arion misses a dive, but manages to roll up Maverick for the 3.

These two guys have serious potential, but a lack of focus upends the starmaking match this could have been.
3/10

recap of the "FBI" vs NBS feud: See my "Crowning a Champion" review for further details

James Maritato and Tony Mamaluke vs The Natural Born Sinners
Mamaluke looks sad, possibly because they didn't enter to the FBI music.

Some fun technical exchanges between Mamaluke and Boogaloo. Same for 'Cide vs Maritato. Mamaluke tags in and gets beat up with some cool double team maneuvers by the NBS. The story is that Mamaluke has to use old school rasslin showmanship and comedy to get the upper hand, but James can shoot with both NBS guys, and it's considered a big moment by the crowd when Mamaluke plays it serious and stretches guys. Nearfalls from both Mamaluke and Cide. I like how the former FBI making mistakes adds some duality to the story they're telling. Maybe comedy is the best way to go, if they were doing the FBI gimmick, maybe Maritato wouldn't have gone for that missile dropkick that he missed, and maybe an elbow drop miscue means Mamaluke should go for a more technical style. James puts up a hell of a fight, and the miscue leading to the finish is teased, but it is not so. Both team members trying interfering on a Superplex/Butterfly Lock leads to a very organic four way. Maritato takes a gnarly looking spill. I didn't like them teasing the Cop Killa just to hit the Cop Killa a move later to win the match.

Beyond that this was a great match

7/10

Post match: The NBS follow the code with Mamaluke, but Maritato doesn't wth either of them. This is a nice wrinkle Also Corino announces the next show is the ROH Tag Team Championship Tournament

The Briscoes explode last show: See my review of "Crowning a Champion" for details.
Post "Crowning a Champion" with The Briscoes: loved it. Mark is the smarmy little brother pissing off his big dumb brother, which leads to a challenge for tonight
Mark Briscoe vs Jay Briscoe
The match starts out just as I would suspect given both men's behavior in the video package, Mark takes pot shots at an angry Jay. When Jay gets the advantage he applies moves like he's pissed off. Jay does a better job at playing an angry big brother than Bret did, and Mark does a better job being a cocky little brother than Owen. It occurs to me that when brothers do some of the more classic wrestling spots (can't knock me down after a shoulder tackle, test of strength) it makes more sense because you can see these guys doing these spots for real in the backyard at Thanksgiving. I like how the commentary changes when Jay gets cut open and Mark stops working it, to disgust and bufuddlement. Jay fights back but never in a way that you lose sight of the fact that Mark has the advantage. Jay fights to cut out the legs and NOW he has the advantage. Mark fights back but can't follow up on dives properly because of the legs. Now Mark is fighting for survival using dirty heel tactics. Now we're getting teases at finishers and big double down. Even after big moves and near falls, the guys never lose sight of what they're meant to be selling. They tap into their warrior spirit for a few more sequences, but Mark hits the cut throat driver for the win!

This might be one of the best debuts for a company in wrestling, and a GREAT match to boot.
9.25/10
Post match: Mark follows the code, but gloats to a passed out Jay backstage setting the tone for the brothers' psychopathic off again/on again relationship for years to come.
ROH World Championship Match:
Low Ki (c) vs AJ Styles
Unfortunately this is more of a traditional pro wrestling match than their match at "Night of Appreciation". That being said, this is still a fucking war. Stiff strikes, submissions, and fighting for big grapples are aplenty. And even so, AJ looks like he's on the same plane as Low Ki, and a threat to his title, even surviving the move that tapped out Divine earlier, and very long into the match as well. This match has too many flourishes to adequately describe in one review. Ki wins with the Ki Crusher. Go and see this match, now.
10/10
Post match: Both guys follow the Code. Low Ki immediately runs into Xavier, who wants Low Ki to be a man of his word and give him a title shot in September. Ki accepts
Michael Shane handheld promo: Michael shits on Rudy/Spanky and turns down the Prophecy while the ring gets deconstructed. This was awesome.

Dunn and Marcos promo: Bad, until we see Carnage Crew jump Da Hit Squad in the background, I like the unplanned, organic nature of what happened here but don't care to see these guys feud anymore

Conclusion


This felt like a "one step forward, two steps back" kind of show. The show was very tag team heavy, but beyond the "let's pimp the next show" squash matches, the FBI implosion is interesting, but nothing work seeking out the one tag match that was in theory supposed to deliver didn't, and while Shane/London, Ki/Styles and The Briscoes delivered, everything beyond that felt like an elongated episode of ECW Hardcore TV. People were given meh matches, and then it was onto the next thing. Check out the three matches I highlighted, and skip the rest.


Up next on NWK Reviews
Jushin Liger TV Special
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom V
WWE Survivor Series 2014
WWF St.Valentine's Day Masssacre

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