ROH in Fairfield, CT
Pitt Center, Sacred Heart University - 11/28/2003
by Joe Gagne
Yeah, this is late. Gimme a break, it’s a busy season. A detail or two may have slipped my mind, just so you know.
So Ring of Honor decides to run a double-shot weekend, running Fairfield, Connecticut the day after Thanksgiving and Framingham, Massachusetts the day after that. Since I had nothing better to do, I decide to hit both shows. Unfortunately, Fairfield is a two-hour drive away, which is a long way to go to see wrestling. I don’t know how people drive four or five hours to see a show. Guess I’m a sissy
Sacred Heart University has this really labyrinthine scheme, so it takes me a while to find the Pitt Center. I’d guess attendance of about 450. They had a four-match Showcase Card before the main show (too bad Showcase Showdown is taken).
Allison Danger vs. Sara Stock: I came in during this match. Stock must be from Canada, because he wrestling gear had a bunch of Maple Leafs on it. Danger won a pretty decent match with an STO.
Slugger & Bison defeated The Solution: Hey, the Solution, I’ve heard about them working in NY area indies. Slugger was accompanied by Grim Reefer and Benny. Bison was announced from, of course, Buffalo. He also has a Bison on his ass, which would be the greatest thing ever if Slyk Wagner Brown didn’t have "Appreciate" written on his ass in the next match. Anyway, this only went four minutes so it was like a Raw match. Solution look good beating on Bison until he tags in Slugger, who cleans house and gets the win with the Bodybag.
Slyk Wagner Brown vs. Jimmy Jact Cash: Why does Cash hump the turnbuckles during his entrance? It’s very disturbing. Shockingly good little match here that Slyk wins with an Iconoclasm-like move that probably has a dumb name.
Special K (Hydro & Angel Dust) vs. Dunn & Marcos: The do all sorts of wacky moves in this one, and what’s the finish? A low blow and a roll-up. God bless wrestling. Good showcase card all around.
ROH never has enough front row seats, so they took them from the back row and
added them. I notice by the time the show starts I’m now a one-man fourth row.
I did notice Gary Michael Capetta sitting in my row watching the showcase card.
Speaking of the devil, Gary opens the show with the Lottery From Hell (a sinister name for picking an envelope) to determine what kind of match the Raven/Punk main event would be. Most figured an I Quit or Texas Death Match, but Gary draws…a cage match. I groaned when I heard that, since the last Raven/Punk cage match (The Clockwork Orange House of Fun match from 9/6) stunk up the joint. I can only assume (a) the drawing was legit, or (b) Raven and Punk wanted to redeem themselves for the last cage match.
[Note: I just watched the aforementioned 9/6 match on tape, and they hacked it up, cutting it down from a half-hour to about twelve minutes. It still sucked, though.]
Speaking of Punk he comes out and gives a spiel about finding out who
attacked Lucy (the ex-Daffney, who was actually just cut from her developmental
deal on OVW this week) in Dayton, and promises to wreck the show if he doesn’t
get answers. He seems positive the Prophecy was behind it, but still felt
obligated to question everyone who worked the Dayton show.
The Backseat Boyz vs. Outkast Killaz: I guess this was a tornado tag match, since all four guys were always in the ring. This was short and mostly both teams hitting their double team moves, but it was a good choice to get the crowd into things. Oman and Diablo must be watching tapes, because they stole the Guerreros del Infiero’s double-hiptoss-into-a-faceplant move. Backseats win with the T-Gimmick. C.M. Punk comes out and question both Backseats if they attacked Lucy, and Trent Acid tells him to piss off (in so many words).
Homicide [w/Julius Smokes] vs. John Walters: Punk hung around and gave Walters the old "who the hell are you" routine. This was the first of three "Present vs. Future" matches. New Japan runs these matches all the time and the old guys always seem to win. This actually turned out to be the sleeper of the night—fine match that had the crowd (me included) believing that Walters might pull the upset, but Homicide eventually got the tap with the STF. Homicide got on the mic afterwards and threatened to kill Steve Corino in Framingham. That’s not very honorable!
The SAT vs. Special K (Cloudy and Dixie) vs. The Carnage Crew vs. Fast Eddie & Hotstuff Hernandez: Loc again makes, shall we say, less than enlightened remarks towards Becky and the other Special K valet (who looked all of twelve). The man needs help. Special K had Fred the Elephant Boy from the Howard Stern show with them for some reason. He just stood at ringside and looked dorky. Anyway, these matches are always hit or miss, but this one fell into the "hit" category, as there were no blown spots and everyone was on. Hotstuff, who’s a big dude, at least compared to the rest of the ROH roster, was the star of this match. You know that move where a small guy tries to sunset flip a big guy, and the big guy reaches down, grabs the small guy by the throat, and drags him to his feet? Well, Hotstuff did that to Cloudy, but instead of lifting him to his feet, he gave him an overhead belly-to-belly in one motion. That wasn’t even the worst of it for Cloudy. Hotstuff then hit a no-hands dive to the floor to a big pop. Cloudy tried a springboard onto both SATs, but they caught him and gave him this funky move where they wrapped one of his legs around their necks, swung him like a pendulum, and planted him face first on the mat. Young Cloudy was knocked out legit, because they rushed his ass to the back really fast (luckily, he’s ok). They called an audible for the finish as Hydro got pinned after a Spanish Fly. I usually crap on silliness like someone who’s not in a match getting pinned, but in this case I’d say it’s understandable. Post-match Loc threw a box of Special K at the ravers, but missed and beaned his partner in the back of the head. I hope that makes the tape.
Christopher Daniels [w/Allison Danger] vs. Jimmy Rave: This was the second "Present vs. Future" match. This was okay, nothing great. People were not behind Rave at all, which is the opposite reaction that you want in matches like this. Rave worked the arm for a while, but Daniels comes back with the moonsault and Last Rites for the win. Punk comes out and questions Daniels, who denies attacking Lucy and says Punk can’t handle the truth. Is Ron Killings coming in?
Josh Daniels vs. Steve Corino [w/his crew]: The final "Present vs. Future" match. Corino has this big elaborate entrance, where he’s flanked by corner man Guillotine LaGrande and two dojo boys. He also has his own personal announcer, Bobby Cruz, who does these elaborate (and long) ring introductions, listing all the titles Corino has won, or every wrestler who ever held the Southern title. This time, because Daniels is a short fellow, Cruz read off a list of every midget that ever competed. So he goes on and on reading names like Sky Low Low and Little Beaver, then he pauses and adds "Tazz." Funny stuff. Match itself was okay. One fantastic spot as Daniels tried a top rope body press, but Corino sidestepped him in the most casual manner imaginable. Corino hits his Northern Lights Bomb, but Daniels kicks out at one, because he has FIGHTING SPIRIT. LeGrande trips Daniels and Corino hits a superkick, but the ref, who saw the interference, refuses to count. While the ref yells at LeGrande, Homicide runs in and gives Corino a Hamada-Chan Cutter, and Daniels follows with the diving headbutt for the upset pin. Homicide breaks one of the Codes of Honor (no interfering), which means, well, nothing really. Oh, besides being shunned in the locker room (oy). We could hear an altercation backstage between ‘Cide and Corino, which I’m sure will show up on the tape.
Matt Stryker vs. Xavier (Field of Honor Block A Finals): Okay, both guys amassed 2-0 records in their block, and this would be the decision match. The other guys in the block, Chris Sabin and John Walters, are both listed as 0-2, and I don’t know why they didn’t wrestle three matches. I guess because they were both mathematically eliminated they figured why bother? I never figured why they stuck Xavier in a supposed up-and-comer showcase when he was their Heavyweight Champ for six months. Stryker’s grown a beard and let his hair grow longer, and now bares a scary resemblance to Vince Russo. People are all over Xavier with the "A.C. Slater" chants, which I think is more out of habit, because Xavier doesn’t resemble the Saved By The Bell alum. Anyway, these two fall into the middle of the pack of ROH workers, but this was actually a surprisingly good match. Some good nearfalls and Stryker gets the win with a DVD.
BJ Whitmer vs. Dan Maff vs. Colt Cabana (Field of Honor Block B Decision
Match): OK, dig this. All of the three competitors went 2-1 (poor Jimmy Rave
went 0-3) and were tied, so this match is to decide the winner. The guy
responsible for playing entrances themes never cuts them off or fades them out,
but slows them down before stopping them. So Colt does this bit where he moves
in slow motion along with the music. This was a good match, but really short at
about eight or nine minutes. BJ gets the win with a wrist-clutch exploder on
Colt. Kinda surprising, since I figured BJ has the least upside out of the
three. Anyway, C.M. Punk returns and asks Maff if he was the one who attacked
Lucy, since he was the Prophecy’s Assassin and all that. Maff swears on his
father’s grave that it wasn’t him. BJ yells at Punk for ruining his big
moment. Oh, and we have Stryker/Whitmer in the finals for 12/27.
Jay & Mark Briscoe [c] vs. Samoa Joe & AJ Styles [ROH Tag Title Match]: The Briscoes have dumped Nas’ "The Cross" in favor of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Gimme Back My Bullets," which is quite the stylistic switch. Anyway, since Joe and AJ had a title match the next day, the outcome of this should have been pretty obvious. Plus the tag title had ping-ponged so much you knew the Briscoes weren’t going to lose them. Regardless, this was still the match of the night as everyone had their working boots on. Briscoes get tossed around for a while (including both Joe and AJ doing the Ole kick) until they cut off AJ and work him over for a while. Joe gets the hot tag, but wouldn’t you know it, AJ accidentally flattens him with a discus clothesline, allowing Mark to hit the champ with a shooting star press (I guess with Paul London gone someone else can use the move) for the pin. AJ and Joe are, to say the least, less than pleased with the other.
CM Punk vs. Raven [Cage Match]: This was escape or pinfall/submission. I have no earthly idea why you’d book the finale to you most heated feud to what amounts to a climbing contest. Anyway, this match was roughly a trillion times better than their last cage match—the focus was more on wrestling than hitting the other guy with weapons. Plus there was no comical ref bump. Both guys bled, of course, and Punk really tapped a vein. The guy’s head is going to look like a peach pit real soon. Punk’s crazy move was a legdrop off the top of the cage that missed. Sucks to be him. Finish saw Punk climb up to the top, only to get knocked off by Raven and crotch himself on the open cage door. But he recovers and slams it in Raven’s face as he tries to leave, then falls to the floor to win the match and the feud. He says he’s getting to the bottom of the whole Lucy deal tomorrow. Remember that.
Good show. Nothing bad at all, although a two-hour drive is a bit much for me. So no more Fairfield shows for me. Unless, you know, they run another double shot again.