September 21, 2002
From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA
Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy (Gabe Sapolsky)
The show starts with London in the ring. He says that his scheduled tag team partner for tonight, Spanky, is not here but that he has found a new partner. The American Dragon comes out to a big applause as he and London shake hands but Michael Shane comes limping out. He grabs the mic and reminds London how he has never beaten him and said London made a mistake by not choosing him as a partner, using the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” analogy then slaps London, causing London to kick him a few times. Shane slides outside but London flies off the top rope and hits Shane with a shooting star press that looked great and it worked the crowd into a frenzy. London then gets in the ring and challenges Shane to a street fight. London then goes outside and reaches underneath the ring to pull out a ladder and sets it up in the ring as the fans chant his name. Shane accepts and yells at London as he retreats to the locker room. Dragon, who stood in the ring the entire time, is asked about what he is going to do tonight and he said that he has an idea.Well, this whole segment felt contrived but it was worth it at the end.
RoH Tag Team Title Tournament
Spanish Announce Team vs. Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan w/ Simply Luscious
The SAT’s get the upper hand after they were jumped by Daniels & Morgan. They hit a wacky Boston Crab/Camel Clutch combo on both guys that gets the crowd going. Jose gets nearfalls on Daniels with a missile dropkick and a suplex. Joel tags but gets whipped into the ropes and Morgan backdrops him to the floor. The ref distracts Daniels so Morgan can beat him up. They both isolate Joel using quick tags and illegal double-team moves. Morgan puts Joel in a legscissors full nelson as Daniels pushes an unidentified woman in her seat. Joel comes back with a double clothesline and is able to make the hot tag to Jose. He messes up a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Morgan then fucks up another spot when he was supposed to get clotheslined to the floor. Joel sets up for a dive as everyone was outside but Luscious trips him up. The woman from the crowd then hops the railing and heads up top, flying to the floor and hitting Daniels & Luscious with a moonsault. She then carries Luscious over her shoulders and heads to the locker room. In the ring, Daniels breaks up a pin attempt after Jose hit Morgan with a DDT from Joel’s shoulders. The SAT’s attempt a Spanish Fly but Morgan breaks that up. Jose then hits a one man Spanish Fly on Daniels but Morgan breaks up the pin and shortly after that, hits him with a pedigree for the win (7:20) **.
Thoughts: Energetic enough for an opening match. The SAT’s were out of their element here going up against two very good wrestlers. The unidentified woman would go on to more fame as Trinity in TNA.
Backstage, Dick Togo and Ikuto Hidaka are talking when the Christopher St. Connection interrupts and offers them a banana. They refuse as the CSC, along with Japanese Pool Boy and Allison Danger act sad. The CSC segments are grating.
Tony Mamaluke and James Maritato are stretching before their match when the sound guy comes up and wants their CD so he can play their music. Maritato refuses to let Mamaluke hand in the FBI theme and gives the guy some other song. Mamaluke pretends to agree with him but makes the switch behind his back.
RoH Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Ikuto Hidaka & Dick Togo vs. Tony Mamaluke & James Maritato
Hidaka and Maritato go back-and-forth to start in a fast-paced sequence. Maritato gets two with a victory roll then uses a figure four neck lock. Hidaka breaks free and works the leg briefly until they end up in a standoff, drawing applause from the crowd. The crowd wants Togo in the match and he tags as Mamaluke also wants into the match. They grapple on the mat as neither guy can get the advantage as they are fighting back and forth. They end with a handshake as the crowd is digging this match a lot. Togo catches Mamaluke and tags Hidaka, who drills Mamaluke in the face with a dropkick. Maritato tags and Hidaka dropkicks him as well. He catches Maritato and goes for a slam but that gets countered into a leg lock. Mamaluke then tags himself in as Maritato is not impressed. He puts Hidaka in a single leg crab but he was able to crawl to the ropes and break the hold. Mamaluke then hits what I can best describe as a slingshot ass drop then tags Maritato, who viciously attacks the arm of Hidaka. Mamaluke tags himself in again and that sparks an argument with his partner as these two are unable to get on the same page. Hidaka comes back with a sitdown powerbomb as both men are down. Hot tag to Togo and he runs wild. The match breaks down as Maritato gets super-kicked off of the apron then Togo finishes off Mamaluke with a senton off of the top rope (9:42) ***.
Thoughts: Fun match. These two teams matched up well. They also contiuned the feud between Maritato and Mamaluke, which was at least a decent midcard feud.
Gary Michael Cappetta is now in the ring as Maritato yells at Mamaluke for not wanting to drop the comedy act and to get serious. Mamaluke comes back and said that Maritato was nothing until he joined his group then challenges Maritato to a match.
Tony Mamaluke vs. James Maritato
Mamaluke takes down Maritato after the handshake. He attempts a Russian leg sweep from the apron but Maritato shakes him off and he goes flying into the guardrail, knocking it down in the process. They fight outside and Maritato gets busted open in the process. In the ring, Mamaluke gets two with a back suplex then hammers on Maritato in the corner. He charges but Maritato catches him with a dropkick that gets two. He argues with the referee and as that happens, Mamaluke catches him with a low blow then rolls him up for the win (2:55) ½*. After the match, Maritato says that the match does not count as there is no cheating in RoH. He then challenges Mamaluke to a match at the next show, Glory by Honor, with the stipulations being if he loses, the FBI gimmick continues but if he wins, the FBI gimmick will be dead.
Thoughts: Just a brief match to set up for a grudge match at the next show.
RoH Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Divine Storm vs. American Dragon & Mike Modest
Dragon introduced Modest as his partner in a brief segment right before the match. Modest competed in Pro Wrestling NOAH along with Donovan Morgan at the time. Dragon grounds Storm to start. Storm comes back with a cross armbreaker then tags Divine as he hits a hurricarana that looked awful before putting him in an armbar. Dragon picks him up as Divine still maintains hold of the arm and holds him up for a bit. Dragon breaks the hold then tags Modest, who destroys Divine in the corner. He was laying into him with forearm smashes. Modest slams Divine then drops two elbows and stops short on a third attempt so he can walk across of his opponent. Dragon & Modest quickly tag in and out as they beat on Divine. Storm tags and hits Dragon with a Spinal Shock and they take it outside and beat the crap out of each other while in the ring, Modest hits Divine with a Super Fisherman’s Buster for the win (6:22) *3/4.
Thoughts: The match was entertaining when it was Storm/Dragon in the ring but Divine was horrible in this match. He was even worse than usual.
Before the show, we see a clip of the Carnage Crew pissed over not being part of the Tag Team Tournament so Devito says that they will “make their own fucking tournament” as they destroy two guys setting up the ring.
Da Hit Squad come out for their match but the Carnage Crew attack them from behind and beat the piss out of them. The announcers state how Homicide and Boogalou were attacked too and that Boogalou might have career ending injuries. I do know that Boogalou left to sign with XPW and maybe this segment was the result of that.
RoH Tag Team Tournament Semifinal
Ikuto Hidaka & Dick Togo vs. Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan
Luscious is not present for this match. Morgan and Hidaka take turns beating each other until Morgan rakes the eyes. They go back and forth again until Daniels tags and the match breaks down with everyone brawling outside. Back inside, Daniels and Hidaka trade leg lariats. Togo tags and Hidaka slingshots him onto Daniels for a senton. Togo works a headlock on the mat then after that he switches to an STF until Morgan breaks it up. Hidaka tags back into the match and boots Daniels then goes to work on the arm. Hidaka connects with a dropkick then gets two with a back suplex after Morgan breaks up the pin. As the ref orders Morgan back, Daniels hits Hidaka with a low blow then makes the tag. Morgan suplexes Hidaka a few times then tags Daniels as they hit a few nice double team moves. Daniels gets two with a springboard split-legged moonsault then tags Morgan. Hidaka manages to get a sunset flip but Morgan comes right back with a clothesline. Daniels hangs Hidaka on the ropes and takes him off with a leg drop then Morgan locks on the Camel Clutch. Togo has had enough and locks on a figure four neck lock on Morgan, who had the hold on Hidaka, but Daniels breaks it up with an elbow drop from the top rope. Daniels tags but Hidaka hits a tornado DDT as both men are down. Hot tag to Togo as he destroys Morgan. Tornado DDT gets two. He locks Morgan in a crossface as Hidaka takes out Daniels outside of the ring with a springboard somersault senton. In the ring, Morgan gets a nearfall with an Exploder and a few more suplexes until Hidaka breaks that up. He slams Morgan then Togo hits him with a senton but Daniels breaks up the pin. He then hits Hidaka with the Angels Wings but that only gets two. He then goes for the Best Moonsault Ever but Togo breaks up that pin attempt. Hidaka chokes Daniels then connects with a missile dropkick. German suplex gets two. A reversal sequence leads to Hidaka hitting a powerbomb and that gets two. The match breaks down a bit as Daniels hits Hidaka with a STO and Morgan holds down Hidaka’s leg from outside the ring and that gets the win (13:55) ***1/2.
Thoughts: Really good match. It also helped that these guys all have experience working with each other. This puts the Prophecy into the finals, which should not surprise anyone.
Dunn w/ Marcos vs. Alex Arion w/ Prince Nana
This was supposed to be a tag match but Nana is still selling the effects of the concussion he suffered from Low Ki and even puts on some head gear after a promo. Arion takes down Dunn and connects with a missile dropkick as a fan yells “boring.” Dunn hits a clothesline in the corner but runs into a monkey flip and Arion slams him down before putting him away with a top rope splash (1:34) ¼*. After the match, Marcos declares himself and his partner as the top team in RoH then offers to shake Nana’s hand but gets knocked down and destroyed after that. Nana grabs the mic as the fans start a loud “shut the fuck up” chant and when that finally settles down, Nana tosses off his headgear and orders Arion to shine his shoes. As Nana turns around, Arion drills him with a super kick. He leaves and the Christopher St. Connection come down to the ring and freak Nana out with their homoerotic acts. They then talk about having a wedding (this was right after the Billy & Chuck wedding from Smackdown) but Mace just wants a kiss but as that is about to happen, Alexis Laree runs in and hits Buff E with a low blow then dropkicks Mase. She then beats up the Japanese Pool Boy and plays up to the crowd afterwards
Thoughts: Lots of stuff going on in this segment but unfortunately, not a whole lot of it was interesting or entertaining. They showcased Laree (Mickie James) a lot and she seemed to get over but a lot of your typical CSC stuff happened and they got old really quick.
RoH Championship Match
Xavier vs. Low Ki (Champion)
Low Ki is working this match with an injured ankle, which the commentators mention early in the match. Match starts with them battling over a key lock. Xavier then stupidly decides to get into a battle of kicks with Ki and loses that battle. Xavier uses his power and tosses Ki in the corner but gets hit with a barrage of chops and forearm smashes. They are trading stiff chops then Ki slams Xavier and drops an elbow. Ki takes Xavier down and locks on a Fujiwara armbar as he is clearly out-wrestling Xavier in this match. The announcers talk about how they do not even agree with how Xavier got a title shot then bring up how their will be a Number #1 contender’s trophy starting in two months that you will have to defend until you get your title shot. What a dumb idea. Back to the match as the fans chant “AC Slater” at Xavier as they battle over a test of strength. Xavier then works a headlock but Ki escapes and dropkicks Xavier low before kicking him hard in the chest. Xavier blocks a kick but Ki connects shortly after that. They have a staredown after going back and forth as the crowd chants for Low Ki. They trade slaps and chops until Xavier completely botches a tilt-a-whirl when he just dropped Ki accidentally. Xavier then picks up Ki in the torture rack but drops him backwards into a gutbuster in a nice move. Xavier works a chinlock as it is clear having Xavier match Ki in the ring move-for-move was not the way to go tonight. He is about gassed at this point. Xavier hits a few knee strikes and that gets him a nearfall. Ki comes back with a rolling Koppu Kick then hits another one that knocks Xavier off of the apron. Ki goes outside and sends Xavier into the guardrail before slamming him on the floor. He rolls Xavier inside and takes him down with a forearm smash. A bridging suplex gets two. Xavier dodges a charge then powerbombs Ki into the corner. He hits a butterfly suplex then flips over and turns it into a submission as the announcers question whether or not Xavier could wrestle a long match. He tosses Ki to the floor as he looks gassed. Ki then takes him down and kicks him off of the apron. Back inside, Ki drops an elbow from the top rope but that only gets two. He then chops Xavier hard as the crowd is not into this match. Ki hits a clothesline that gets two then signals for the Ki Crusher but it is blocked and he gets a rollup for two. Xavier fucks up a pinfall reversal sequence and Ki kicks him right in the face as they get up. Xavier’s tank is on empty right now. He hits a terrible looking powerslam that gets two as this match is heatless. Ki connects with an enziguiri as fans can be heard telling Xavier that he sucks. Ki kicks him hard some more then gets him in the Hanging Dragon but Xavier is able to drop him backwards. Xavier almost drops Ki as he caught him after a springboard move and hits a facebuster that gets two. Christopher Daniels comes down to the ring. Xavier hits a kneebreaker but misses a 450 splash and Ki takes control. He destroys Xavier with a bunch of kicks to the face but ends up falling down and selling his injured ankle. Ki sees Daniels outside and leaves to confront him then Xavier chop blocks Daniels from behind. Xavier and Daniels then smile at each other as they are seemingly in cahoots. Xavier takes a concrete slab and pushes it into Ki’s chest as Daniels has a chair. Daniels then holds the slab in place as Xavier whacks the top of it with a chair as Ki is spitting up blood as Daniels yells at him. Ki crawls to the ring as the announcers stress how there is no outside interference in RoH. The fans are slowly getting back into the match as Ki finally crawls inside and Xavier hits the 450 splash for the win (25:43) *1/2. After the match, Donovan Morgan comes out to congratulate Xavier as Morgan lays the RoH Banner over Ki, with Xavier posing over his body while holding the belt.
Thoughts: First, this match sucked. RoH has been built so far as a promotion that is geared around wrestlers who are technically sound and spectacular. Xavier was neither. He had a decent body but an average wrestler with not much in terms of charisma or presence. This match had him try to match Ki move-for-move and watching Ki’s strikes compared to what Xavier was doing was like night and day. I also remember a rumor about Xavier intentionally trying to look bad in this match in an attempt to piss off the crowd or show them that Ki was not all that good or something similar to that. With that being said, the post match angle was done well and I liked how they buried Ki under the RoH Banner. That was a nice visual. It also furthered the storyline between Ki and Daniels and having Xavier, built up as the 80’s smiling babyface, turn and join the Prophecy was shocking. Just too bad that Xavier was a below average talent.
Takao Omori vs. Sonny Siaki
Siaki is wearing the Flying Elvis ring attire that he was using in TNA at this time. Omori cheapshots Siaki after the bell as the announcers tell us that Siaki was in this match because Michael Modest, originally scheduled to wrestle Omori, was teaming with Dragon. Siaki comes back with a super kick that gets two. They trade go-behinds until Siaki takes Omori down with a drop toehold. Omori works the arm then lays into Siaki with European uppercuts. Siaki turns the tide and beats on Omori in the corner. After a struggle, Omori hits a suplex then grabs a chinlock then into a bodyscissors as this match has grinded to a screeching halt. Omori continues with his basic heel offense as Siaki attempts to fight back but gets booted down. He piledrives Siaki, who is able to break the pin by getting his foot on the rope. Siaki blocks another piledriver with a backdrop as both men are down. Omori charges but Siaki clotheslines him down then hits a spinning neckbreaker for a nearfall but Omori comes back with a spinning heel kick then puts Siaki away with a backdrop driver (7:28) *1/2.
Final Thoughts: This felt like a prolonged squash match. Omori never impressed me from what I saw of him (He had another weak match around this time in TNA against Ken Shamrock) but Siaki looked okay. Neither guy would appear for RoH again.
CM Punk makes his RoH debut as he comes out to the ring with a shirt that reads “Drug Free,” prompting one fan to yell “smoke weed, bro.” Fans were starting a CM Punk chant as soon as he walked out too. He panders to the crowd and says how there is wrestling in Philadelphia again as the crowd chants “RoH.” Punk then says on November 9th, he will be the best that he can be when he wrestles for RoH and says that he is proud to know that the crowd takes pride in people who wrestle and it will be his pleasure to show how he is the best in the Midwest. Colt Cabana comes out to interrupt and said how he made CM Punk and is pissed that he will not be there and challenges Punk. Both guys came across well on the mic but overall, this was just a lot of pandering to the anti-WWE crowd.
Jay Briscoe cuts a promo about how his brother Mark ruined his first win by being a jerk to him backstage. Jay then mentions how Mark cannot wrestle in Philadelphia until January before bringing up his loss to Mark and says that he is not losing in Ring of Honor anymore.
Mark is shown begging Amazing Red to manage him tonight against his brother but Red keeps refusing. Mark starts to get hostile so Red sends him through the locker room door with a super kick.
Jay Briscoe vs. Amazing Red
These two struggle to gain an advantage on the mat and end in a standoff, which the crowd applauds. Red hits Mark with a rana then catches him with a knee after a clunky Irish whip sequence. Red drags Jay outside and kicks him repeatedly as Jay pushes him off. Jay then hammers away but misses a kick and they have a standoff on the floor. They stare each other down as they enter the ring and Red hits a kick then an inverted DDT but runs full speed into a lariat. Jay lays into Red then works the leg. Red comes back with a spin kick then a nearfall with some sort of powerbomb. He rolls through a dive but runs into a boot. Red is able to cut off Jay as he climbed up top then takes him down with a sunset flip powerbomb and follows that with the Red Star Press in an incredible sequence but that only gets two. Jay drops Red on his head from the pendulum position then folds him in half with a powerbomb before getting the win with the Jay Driller (7:47) **3/4. The fans applaud after the match then Dixie and Elax attack Red but the SAT’s run in for the save. They leave then the huge yet to be named black guy with dreadlocks (Slugger)comes in and destroys Elax before leaving to his spot in the back of the arena.
Thoughts: All action here. These guys worked well together too and had themselves a solid match. Jay looks to be on his way to a winning streak gimmick
Michael Shane vs. Paul London
These two immediately attack each other at the bell. London hits a spinning heel kick and a dropsault to start. He then backdrops Shane to the floor as they brawl outside of the ring. Back inside, London crotches Shane off of the top rope then hits him with an enziguiri for two. London chops Shane and skins the cat after getting backdropped but Shane spears him to the floor. He sends London into the guardrail then sets up a table but took to long as London rolls Shane back into the ring then grabs a chair from underneath the rind and holds it up as Shane flies out with a somersault plancha, smashing the chair into London’s face. London is now busted open as the match heads back in the ring with Shane bouncing the chair off of London’s head. Shane suplexes London on the chair then whips him hard into the corner. They trade chops as Shane wins that but London rams his head into a chair that was wedged in the corner as Shane is now busted open and pulls the ladder from underneath the ring and London kicks it into his face. London slides the ladder inside and heads up and tries some move and ends up crashing and burning. London gets up and sets the ladder up in the corner and a reversal sequence ends with Shane sending London into the ladder with an overhead suplex. Shane drops the ladder on London then ends up on the apron and taunts the fans, allowing London to take him off of the apron and through the table with a flying headscissors. Crazy shit from London. London pulls out a taller ladder and slides that into the ring before hitting Shane with a dropkick. Back in the ring, London hits Shane with a knee smash then backdrops him onto the ladder. As Shane slides outside, London runs up the ladder and flies out and hits Shane with a senton that has the crowd chanting his name. Crazy and it looked great too. London sets up a ladder and climbs up top and propels himself off but Shane catches him with a powerbomb and that only gets two. Shane pushes London off of the top rope and hits his elbow drop but that only gets two. London dodges a bicycle kick and connects with a super kick. London then climbs up top and hits a shooting star press but that only gets two as the fans are on their feet. London sets up the bigger ladder, which is bent and wobbly, but climbs it anyway as the crowd starts a “you sick fuck” chant. Shane takes London off of the ladder then climbs up top and hits another elbow drop but London kicks out of that too. Shane climbs the ladder again but takes him down with a springboard kick. He sets Shane up then climbs up the ladder as the “please don’t die” chant makes it debut and London hits the shooting star press from the top of the ladder for the win (20:38) ****1/4. After the match, London pulls up Shane and they hug and soak up the cheers for a minute but Shane clotheslines London as Levy calls him an asshole.
Thoughts: An incredible match that put Paul London on the map as someone to watch on the independent scene. Shane did a fine job too but London did all sorts of crazy moves and they all looked great. Easily the match of the night.
Before the show, Donovan Morgan and Mike Modest are arguing as Modest won’t have what Morgan is trying to tell him about the Prophecy. Morgan flips on Modest and pushes him down, prompting Modest to attack him. Morgan flees as the segment ends.
RoH Tag Team Tournament Finals
Donovan Morgan & Christopher Daniels vs. Michael Modest & American Dragon
Daniels and Modest start off the match. Morgan tags after Daniels beat him down and he gets an early advantage then they collide a few times until Modest knocks him down with a forearm. Dragon tags and they trade shots for a bit until Morgan rams Dragon into the corner. Daniels tags himself in and goes to work on the knee of Dragon before tagging Morgan, who does the same. Daniels tosses Dragon to the floor and Morgan sends him into the guardrail. Back inside, Daniels hits a kneebreaker but Dragon comes back with an enziguiri as both men are down. Daniels drags Dragon back as the ref did not see the tag and Dragon gets double-teamed behind the ref’s back. Outside of the ring, Morgan sends Dragon into the guardrail a few more times. Back in the ring, Morgan tags but Dragon hits a suplex as both men are down. Daniels tags in but so does Modest, although the crowd did not care. Modest hits a bunch of forearms then takes Daniels off of the top with a leg scissors. Morgan comes in and slams Modest then the match breaks down as all four men are on the mat. Morgan slides outside and drags out Modest but gets sent into the guardrail. Daniels takes down both men with an Arabian Press then Dragon takes him out with a tope but sells the knee when he lands. Back inside, Modest hits an Exploder then a Super Fisherman’s Buster but Morgan breaks up that pin attempt. Morgan then hits the Golden Gate Swing but Modest comes back with a clothesline. Dragon tags and struggles to put on a full nelson then hits a cradle suplex. He puts him in the Cattle Mutilation but Daniels breaks that up with a baseball slide. Up top, Morgan takes Dragon down with a sitout powerbomb then Daniels follows that with the BME but that still cant put Dragon away. Daniels hits the Blue Thunder Driver for two then puts him in the Koji Clutch after a reverse STO. Modest breaks it up as all four men are in the ring. Dragon and Daniels are left in the ring and Dragon tries a back suplex from the top rope but Daniels falls on top of him (14:42) **1/2. After the match, Dragon and Modest destroy the Tag Team Championship Trophy.
Thoughts: Slightly above-average match that I expected to be better. It also lacked that special feeling that a tournament final should have.This never really got out of first gear and all Morgan seemed to do was whip people into the guardrail. With the Prophecy holding all of the belts, RoH has built up their top heel stable well.
Backstage, the Prophecy celebrate as Daniels informs everyone that at Glory by Honor, none of the titles will be defended and that Xavier will have a tuneup match with the biggest loser in the company as Mark Briscoe walks up and says his brother Jay is that person and Daniels agrees. Xavier looked by background fodder then entire time, not something you want from your Champion.
Final Thoughts: The purpose of this show was to establish the Prophecy as the biggest threat in RoH. I thought that it was a bit weird to have the stable leader hold the Tag Titles as the newest and least impressive member was the company’s Champion. Xavier as the new champ seemed like a bad move at the time and he had an forgettable run as the champ. The rest of the show revolved around the Tag Title tournament and that was not all that impressive. London vs. Shane was easily the best thing on this show and they did a good amount of segments to set up the next two shows so that is a positive as well. These shows remain inconsistent as a whole.