ROH Crowning a Champion





ROH Crowning a Champion

By NWK2000
From July 27, 2002

ROH Crowning a Champion
Low Ki monologues to a camera - AWESOME. This was a summary of Low Ki's work in ROH so far. He's holding the camera himself and pacing around the ring in the empty arena. I like the angle he holds the camera at too, because occasionally you catch him staring into the distance. The way clips of the things he's talking about fade in and out it's almost like we've got a window into Low Ki's brain and we're seeing exactly what he's thinking about. This was organic and awesome. Low Ki is such a star.

Opening video package - Decent. This gets across Ki, Spanky, and Daniels as characters well, but because they have all of two matches of Doug Williams footage, he looks less important than the others

Steve Corino and Simply Luscious promo - Confusing. First we rip off ECW when we open with the camera oogling Simply Luscious, then Corino comes into frame. He cuts a terribly generic monologue full of 'You see...." to start sentences. We eventually learn that him and Luscious are on camera item now, and that he joined The Prophecy to make this happen. Corino openly admits to being unsure about this, and they tease dissension when Corino pulls a face when Luscious calls Daniels the greatest of all time. Beyond Corino's promo, this seems super weird to be teasing two shows into the faction's existence

The CSC walk in on a rave full of dorks - Oh no. This is Special K isn't it? Special K are homophobic to the CSC, and then go back to dancing to music. Later on they try to tell Divine Storm what's going on but it's basically the same homophobic BS that doesn't deserve it's own subheading

Mamaluke, Maritato, and Natural Born Sinners segment - Bad. Mamaluke asks James for more FBI shirts because he's a geek. They argue. Then Boogaloo shows up and politely asks James about shooting. Mamaluke says some vaguely racist stuff. We then learn that Homicide is also there, who challenges them both in Boston. James, who has every right to politely decline, cuts a terribly rehearsed promo about accepting challenges, and then accepts the challenge.

Tony Mamaluke vs Jeremy Lopez - 6/10


The match starts out sloppy, and goes into "just moves but Lopez does some things that only deceptively strong wrestlers can pull off and leave you in a sense of awe, including an arm locked Tornado DDT immediately into a Tiger Driver. Mamaluke gets some heel stuff in, but ends up suddenly locking in a butterfly lock for the win. You really get the idea that Jeremy barely lost.

Mamaluke, Maritato, and Natural Born Sinners segment - Bad. Mamaluke asks James for more FBI shirts because he's a geek. They argue. Then Boogaloo shows up and politely asks James about shooting. Mamaluke says some vaguely racist stuff. We then learn that Homicide is also there, who challenges them both in Boston. James, who has every right to politely decline, cuts a terribly rehearsed promo about accepting challenges, and then accepts the challenge.

Prince Nana and Jacobs Ladder vs York and Matthews w./Alexis Laree - 1/10


"Jacobs Ladder" might be the best jobber name I've ever heard. Nana cuts a promo beforehand urging his opponent not to hit him in the head or neck because of injuries suffered at previous ROH events (to which we throw to some helpful replays). Nana gets enough offense in to indicate that he's not hurt, but bails on Ladder when he gets hit in the head, allowing the other team to hit their Leg Drop/DVD combo to win. I guess this told a story?

More "comedy" with the CSC - Nana gets to be homophobic with them and walk away. Then the CSC's music hit out of nowhere (I would like a wrestling promotion to explain that their sound guy is right behind the curtain wrestlers come out of) and Allison Danger is just there waiting, I would like someone to explain why Danger doesn't hang out with the CSC. They go out and confront York/Matthews/Laree in which one of the CSC hit a Laree, which sets up Danger spanking Laree with glitter on her hand. There were some funny bits of comedy, like Donnie B wondering if they're speaking "Gayness" and Corino backpedaling on calling Matthews cute, but this was just more bad homophobic comedy.

Earlier today with the TWA gang - Everyone gets out of a van. Michael is a shitty veteran to child-like dork Don Juan. Bio isn't happy about it, but Rudy defends Shane.

"Winner gets a contract" tag team match
Paul London and Don Juan vs. Biohazard and Michael Shane - 4/10


I thought this gimmick ended with the TWA Gauntlet at Night of Appreciation? Also it's kind of embarrassing that Paul London still has to fight for a contract despite him wowing at past shows. This match is clipped Michael and Paul are clearly the workers of the match, where Juan and Bio to a lesser extent are motoring through the spots they know how to do. Other than the moves, we get approximately one instance of Shane trying to steal a pin from Bio Hazard. A miscue between the babyfaces leads to a double pin for London and Shane, where the ref rules in Shane's favor. We get "this match sucked" chants. Ouch. Post match, London tries to follow The Code despite being upset, but Shane blows him off

Shane cuts a promo - Shane calls out Spanky. London runs out and explains that he does the craziest moves at the Texas Wrestling Academy, to which Corino dryly remarks "Crazy moves? Great, he didn't win". I laughed really hard at this. They get into a pull-apart. This leads to Rudy saying he talk to Gabe and get Shane vs London booked for Boston. Boston sounds like it will be an awesome show.

Divine Storm vs Da Hit Squad - 5/10


This starts as a normal Hit Squad squash but Divine Storm start countering moves and fighting back. The crowd starts turning on Da Hit Squad when they noticeably gas out. I feel vindicated. The finish comes when Divine Storm (who's getting some shocking power spots in) blocks a Powerbomb, but just gets Powerbombed anyway in a half Ganzo Bomb for the pin. Both guys follow The Code post match.

When you put Da Hit Squad with a good team like Divine Storm you get a half way decent match. But, It's very clear that Da Hit Squad are just backyard, fat NOAH marks and I'm tired of their shit.

Jay Briscoe w/ Mark Briscoe vs James Maritato - 6.5/10


The commentary team actually does a nice job explaining that Mark might be jealous because he's underrage and can't compete in Pennsylvania like Jay. Corino also says that even though Jay is losing, he's learning and because he's so young, his time will come. I wish people explained losing streaks this way more often.

The story of the match is that the young Briscoe is hanging with veteran Maritato...until Mark randomly teases a walkout, which distracts Jay long enough for Maritato to hit the Kiss of Death for the win. This was a bad finish to the best match all night so far. Post match both guys follow the code.

Christopher Daniels recaps the story so far while brainwashing Simply Luscious - I'm conflicted The content was good, and Luscious is a good at pretending to be brain washed. But Daniels is trying too hard to be theatrical when his normal promos are bodacious enough. He also uses some weirdly rehearsed turns of phrase that feel unnatural coming from him. This also feels disconnected from the Corino promo as there's no mention of him.

Douglas Stretch Mufflers a man in a gym - The guy is screaming. Douglas says this will be his opponents tonight. Simple yet effective.

A recap of the NBS vs Carnage Crew video package - Decent

Bunkhouse Brawl
The Natural Born Sinners vs The Carnage Crew - 8.5/10


Speaking of simple yet effective, this is how I would describe the bloody brawl we get here. There's blood on the camera, someone in the crowd in a wheelchair gets blood on the wheelchair. horrifying chair shots, barbed wire corner exploder suplexes, barbed wire fucking moonsaults, barbed wire lariats, and it's a barbed wire crossface that earns the submission win for the NBS. This was absolutely fucking batshit. But it wasn't bleeding just for the sake of bleeding. Everything felt hard and real. I loved this match

Post match - Carnage Crew gets their heat back, Hit Squad makes the save. NBS feel disrespected and walk off. I don't like it when guys get their heat back in brutal matches like this but I get that it sets up Carnage Crew vs Hit Squad for the next show, also furthers the NBS/Hit Squad implosion.

Spanky promo - Great for what he was given. He says that he's the underdog, admitting all the positive traits about his opponents, including that he's never wrestled English style so Williams has an advantage. He then says he's beat Ki and Daniels before but because he thematically has to say something about Williams, he says that he's been trained by Regal and Brookside, despite having just said he's never wrestled English style. This is less a commentary on Spanky's promo ability (in fact this is the best promo I've heard Kendrick do), but it further reveals that Doug is the squeaky wheel in this whole thing.

Boogie Knights, Dunn and Marcos, Rob Feinstein segment - One of the Boogie Knights is injured, so they need partners for the six man. The injured guy bitches that the venue isn't handicapped accessible. Dunn and Marcos appear to help the injured guy down the stairs in his wheelchair, who gets mad. As a disabled person I identify with this so much it's not even funny. Rob Feinstein, who like a magical pixie only appears when there's jobber matches to be booked, books Mike Tobin (the non injured guy) with Dunn and Marcos. The Boogie Knights are hostile to Dunn and Marcus

3 Way Dance for the TNA X-Division Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs Adam Jacobs vs David Young - 7.5/10


It's weird to think that in the span of four months Ring of Honor has already had the WWE Intercontinental, IWA Intercontinental and the TNA X-Division Championships on their show.
This is a CRAZY spot-fest, with a three-person stacked Chaos Theory that I've never seen before. AJ gets slammed head first into the apron HARD and is bleeding buckets because of it. Once Young is eliminated, David gets to show off some impressive kicks. A blocked Styles Clash gets turned into a Boston crab, and we get an off the top Styles Clash for a three.

This was a fun spot fest that was great for the time it got.

Rudy Boy Gonzales interrupts a run down of the September ROH show - Steve Corino makes his debut against American Dragon, plus Mike Modest will be in the house. Why is Dragon still tied to the TWA guys?

Dunn, Marcos, and Mike Tobin (w/Danny Drake) vs Special K (Brian XL, Black Gordman Jr, and Dixie (w/Izzy) - 1/10


This match is clipped as hell, but we know that Black had to retrieve Brian and Dixie from the back, and that Brian and Dixie turned on Black as a result, allowing the babyface team to win. A random huge black guy squashes all the babyfaces and leaves through the crowd.

Carnage Crew challenge Da Hit Squad for Boston - Shouty heel promo, this was great. We're getting a Boston Massacre match, which sounds like a lot of barbed wire.

A recap of Scoot Andrews hitting the Force of Nature on Xavier - X is constantly saved by outside circumstances. I never really figured The Force of Nature was some sort of dangerous super move. If Scoot Andrews doesn't win, he'll leave Ring of Honor

Scoot Andrews vs Xavier - 6.5/10


Scoot does the world's wackiest looking handshake into a sunset flip of all time. This match is also clipped, but you could tell it was SUPER hard hitting. When we do get full sequences we get kick outs of big moves by Scoot and call backs to previous matches that get countered. Scoot hits the Force of Nature to win. This looked like a great match for a feud that was completely lost on me.

ROH World Championship: Four Way Iron Man Match
Spanky vs Doug Williams vs Christopher Daniels vs Low Ki - 10/10


You get two points for pinning someone, minus 1 for being pinned. This is such a unique match. The first few minutes are almost like the four separate matches in one, with each guy having his own story point (Ki gets his legs worked over, Doug works over everyone's joints) etc. At the 25 minute mark Daniels scores on Low Ki. The rest of the match is Ki combating the other three to fight up in points. He scores points on Williams and Spanky, but not. Daniels, which gives their feud ammo, and awards Ki the championship without resolving the feud.

This match is one of those rare matches where a goofy match concept is made doable by good bookers and great workers. If you have an hour to kill, go and watch this

Conclusion
The featured wrestling matches was great as usual but some of the elements of this show have me worried. There was entirely too much talking on this show for one, and some of the goofier elements of the undercard got overexposed, and in general everyone went in a gimmickier direction with some of their characters, which, while helpful for guys like Don Juan who don't have a ton to latch on to, is super noticeable in the main event crop. Perhaps this a symptom of a pending TV deal, but I hope this isn't an overall trending direction for ROH

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