July 10, 2011
The Powerdriver Review
ROH: Joe vs. Punk II
Chicago Ridge, IL
ROH World Champion: Samoa Joe (since 3/22/2003)
ROH Pure Champion: John Walters (since 8/28/2004)
ROH Tag Team Champions: Ricky Reyes & Rocky Romero (since 8/7/2004)
CM Punk tells us that this is *his* backyard. Well, specifically Samoa Joe, but us watching at home too I guess.
Generation Next sans Austin Aries mentions how they may have lost to the Second City Saints and Ricky Steamboat with his fancy schmancy chops and armdrags in Dayton the night before, but tonight Alex Shelley will be rid of Jimmy Jacobs. Strong and Evans will also take on the Rottweilers, Homicide and Rocky Romero. Evans ~ “THE ROTTWEILERS AIN’T HOOD! THEY GON’ GET SERVED! AND YOU KNOW THIS, MAN!”
Your hosts are Jimmy Bower and Mark Nulty.
Davey Andrews vs. TJ Dalton
No match. The Carnage Crew attack immediately at the bell. HC Loc gets on the mic and reminds everybody that Mick Foley is in da hizzouse. DeVito sends out a warning to Maff and Whitmer and that does it for now. [N/R]
Delirious vs. Jay Lethal
Both guys look so indy here compared to now. Delirious has much shinier trunks and well, I don’t think I need to explain the difference in 2004 Jay Lethal and present-day Jay Lethal. Delirious was on a bit of a losing streak in ROH lately and Jay Lethal was being billed as a protégé to the great Samoa Joe, so both guys have something to prove here. Delirious headscissors out of a back suplex and follows up with a serious of throat thrusts and a rollup for two. Bower responding to Nulty discussing Lethal being unorthodox ~ “Well Delirious has a lizard face and it doesn’t get much more unorthodox than that!” He catches Lethal charging into the corner and drops him with a sitout spinebuster and then turns Lethal over for a fish-hook Regal stretch. Lethal hits a back suplex, but Delirious shoves off a superplex and delivers a flying rana. They trade chops in and out of the ring. Lethal gets sent into the guardrail and has his neck snapped BACKWARDS off the top rope from the apron. Delirious cannonball planchas onto Lethal down on the floor. Back in, Lethal avoids a Shadows Over Hell and gets two. Delirious elbows out of the DRAGON SUPLEX, but then Lethal reverses a powerbomb for a swinging neckbreaker. Delirious catches Lethal off a Flying Headbutt with an ace crusher. Nice. He gets the Shadows Over Hell this time for 1-2-NO! Running forearm gets another two. Delirious fires away with more forearms, but he turns his back on Lethal who pops up with the DRAGON SUPLEX! Cover, 1-2-3! (8:20) Fun little match to really get the show going. **½
Joe says regardless of the fact that this is Punk’s hometown, he has failed to beat him before and he will fail again.
Tracy Brooks vs. Daizee Haze
Yep, it’s the same Traci who’s a TNA Knockout these days. They exchange armdrags and get into a rollup sequence. Ooo, I see a tramp stamp on Traci! Punk sure does love the ho’s. Brooks buries a knee and delivers a gutwrench suplex for two. Haze comes back with some forearms and a nice front missile dropkick gets two. Haze hits a stunner, but Brooks drills her with a running clothesline for the 1-2-3. (3:43) Better than most womens matches that you’ll see on a Monday night, that’s for sure. **
Angel Dust vs. Trent Acid vs. Matt Sydal vs. Josh Daniels – Four Corner Survival
Matt Sydal is possibly the luckiest of these four today as he’s the only one with a WWE deal. That is if you consider people with WWE contracts lucky. That’s really your call. Daniels and Angel Dust get into a headlock-headscissors sequence to start, followed by some close nearfalls. Sydal tags in and works a headlock as the crowd chants “we want Acid.” Angel Dust battles back and hits a cobra-clutch backbreaker before tagging out to Acid. Daniels clotheslines Acid to the floor where Acid blocks a suicide dive from Daniels. Meanwhile, Sydal comes off the top for a double-stomp onto Daniels and a double-sledge to Acid! That leaves Angel Dust to moonsault down on top of everybody. Back in, Daniels controls with chops until Acid hits a Blue Thunder Driver for 1-2-NO! Blind tag to Angel Dust, who comes in and kicks away at Daniels. Daniels blocks a basement superkick and chops Angel Dust down. Angel Dust catches Daniels with a double-stomp to the head, but then Acid nails Angel Dust with a big boot. Sydal lands on his feet off a Shooting Star Press attempt on Daniels. Sydal tries a rana instead, but Daniels counters with a powerbomb. ACID DROP (lifting reverse DDT) to Sydal, but Daniels has Angel Dust in a bridging German for 1-2-3. (6:34) See, Daniels and Angel Dust were the LEGAL men, Acid. Another short, fun match. **¼
Nigel McGuinness & Chad Collyer (w/Ricky Steamboat) vs. BJ Whitmer & Dan Maff (w/Mick Foley)
This is during the Steamboat’s technical guys vs. Foley’s hardcore guys feud. Steamboat and Foley get on the mic. Steamboat makes a funny. He says he got an email from the Chicago sanitation department saying that when Foley’s next novel fails, they have a job for him unloading garbage trucks. First of all – really Steamboat? You got a lot of trash collector friends that have you’re email address? You’re not Dusty Rhodes! You are NOT the common man! Second of all – why would a sanitation department email him about a job for Foley? You may be a wrestling genius, but your jokes are epic fail! Foley’s response ~ “Alert the media! Ricky Steamboat just told a joke! That’s got to be the first time in Steamboat’s career where he actually said something entertaining!” Foley puts Steamboat over by calling him possibly the greatest pure wrestler ever, but sees that as like being the best softcore porn actor of all-time. Zing! Then he brings up Ric Flair. Oh boy. He uses Terry Funk’s lines from 1989 to make fun of him and his banana nose, his horse teeth, and how he looks like Barbara Bush in drag, and Steamboat calls him out on it. Foley decides to make up some new lines of his own then – Foley says he’s never kissed HHH’s butt, he actually says something different every once and a while, he doesn’t do the Flair Flop or go WOO! Also he doesn’t compare his genitals to a Disney theme park ride. Most importantly though, Foley knew when to step aside and let the younger and hungry wrestlers come to the forefront. Now let’s get it on.
Onto the match, McGuinness and Collyer dominate Whitmer and Maff with armdrags and armbars. After several minutes of that, the Carnage Crew run down to try and jump Foley. Whitmer and Maff attack the Carnage Crew in the ring and the bell sounds for the DQ. (4:44) Steamboat calls the Carnage Crew a bunch of dickheads for destroying a perfectly good wrestling match. Hahahahahahahaha. The Carnage Crew get chopped by Steamboat and chased to the back with a chair in-hand! Steamboat’s getting hardcore!
Foley says now that Steamboat’s gone, let’s get hardcore! The match gets restarted and everybody ends up brawling into the crowd. Maff pairs up with Collyer while Whitmer and McGuinness battle it out. They all make it back to the ring where Whitmer hits an EXPLODER on Collyer onto a chair. Steamboat returns to ringside and advises Nigel to go back to pure wrestling. Nigel listens and rolls Whitmer up for 1-2-3. (11:41) Pure wrestling has prevailed! Kind of a mess, and I think it’s one of those feuds that looks better on paper than in the execution. *½
In the back during the intermission, Dave Prazak questions Trent Acid about losing so often lately. He says he feels like an outcast here in ROH. What a downer. Who is he, Raven?
The Carnage Crew vs. Davey Andrews & TJ Dalton
ROH wrestling school grad Davey Andrews and HWA regular TJ Dalton team up to take on the guys who treated them like they just didn’t matter at the beginning of the show. Andrews and Dalton are in total control to start until Andrews gets dumped to the floor during a ten-count corner punch. HC Loc saves DeVito on the other side and punishes Dalton with a Doomsday Device. Dalton gets stuck on the Carnage Crew side of town, but slides away from HC Loc and tags Andrews. They slow Andrews down with a Carnage-Plex. Dalton runs into a Splash Mountain-neckbreaker combo. CARNAGE DRIVER to Andrews. That will do it. (4:22) Most definitely a squash. HC Loc gets on the mic and tells Steamboat he better watch his back. *
Homicide & Rocky Romero vs. Jack Evans & Roderick Strong
While both teams normally work heel, Generation Next play the babyfaces in this one. Evans dropkicks Homicide out to the floor and nails him with his own Tope Con Hilo. In the ring, Romero delivers a spinning headscissors and a knee to the face before tagging out to Homicide. He hits a double-stomp and a Northern Lights suplex for two. Running big boot in the corner connects for two. Strong finally backs Homicide into his corner and tags Evans. Strong flips Evans onto Homicide for a SWEET corkscrew 450 splash that gets two. Strong tags back in and launches Evans into Homicide in the corner. Double-arm suplex followed by a flying elbow drop gets two. Evans tags and hits a flying crossbody for 1-2-NO! Homicide delivers an implant DDT with Evans draped on the top rope! Tag to Romero, he NO-SELLS Evans weak punches and slaps him back on the mat. Homicide tags and hits a running straddle. He follows that up with a t-bone suplex for 1-2-NO! Romero comes back in to kick and slap Evans around. He applies a Boston crab as Homicide decides to jump in and sit down on Evans for a reverse chinlock! Homicide delivers a spinebuster slam and then catapults Evans into a slap from Romero. Evans falls back on Homicide’s knees and takes a springboard knee drop from Romero! Homicide rolls him up for 1-2-NO! The Rottweilers know they have Evans at their mercy and prove it by simply tossing him over the top rope down to the guardrail! Back in, Homicide looks to come off the top rope, but takes FOREVER by yelling at the crowd. He misses Evans completely, allowing Evans to make the HOT TAG TO STRONG! Uranage Backbreaker to Homicide gets two! Generation Next hits the ODE TO THE BULLDOGS! Will that be enough? Strong covers Homicide – 1-2-NO!! Homicide low-blows Strong and the Rottweilers give him a Steiner Bulldog. Romero covers for 1-2-NO! Homicide hooks a double-chickenwing on Evans while Romero grabs a cross armbreaker! Strong powers out and hotshots Romero and then stomps Homicide to break the hold on Evans. Homicide hits a piledriver on Strong, but gets nailed with a spin kick from Evans. Romero’s attempt at a superplex on Evans gets shoved off to set up the 630 senton, but Romero moves and Homicide charges to crotch Evans for a Double Underhook Superplex! Strong pulls Romero off the cover and throws him into the guardrail. Homicide turns Evans inside out with a clothesline and covers, but he’s not the legal man! Homicide misses a corner charge and gets lifted up in a fireman’s carry into a double-knee gutbuster from Strong! CX ’02 to Romero! Homicide then takes Strong with him to the floor with a clothesline while Evans comes out of nowhere and hits the 630 senton on Romero! That gets three! (17:31) Probably should’ve had the Freebird rule to go into effect with the Rottweilers, because Homicide and Romero looked awesome together. Great match that shows that tag wrestling wasn’t and isn’t dead in every major American promotion. Also good to know everybody involved is still doing great tag matches like this whether it be in ROH or TNA. Afterwards, the Rottweilers look like they’re going to follow the Code of Honor with a handshake, but Homicide gives Evans the COP KILLA instead. That’s not a handshake! Romero gets on the mic and tells Strong and Evans that they’ll get their tag title shot, and Homicide tells Chicago he hates them all. Together, Romero and Homicide flip off the crowd before they head to the back. I love seeing heels really act like heels. ***¾
Alex Shelley vs. Jimmy Jacobs – I Quit Match
They go to the floor almost immediately. Jacobs sends Shelley into the guardrail with a headscissors off the apron. He tosses some chairs into the ring and tries for the Contra Code off the guardrail, but Shelley avoids it and sends Jacobs into the guardrail with the Shell Shock. Shelley puts Jacobs into the guardrail a few more times and then gives him a double-stomp to the head on the apron! Back in, Shelley delivers a Skull F on a chair! Jacobs won’t give it up just yet. He then flips out of a suplex and hits a neckbreaker on a chair. Jacobs puts him down with a chairshot and Pillmanizes his head while he also grabs a half-crab! Jacobs pulls out a spike from his furry boots, but Shelley blocks any damage that could do with a superkick. Then Shelley grabs the spike and starts raking away at Jacobs face! Finally, some blood on this show! He still won’t give it up though. Shelley sets up a chair. They trade blows and Jacobs tries for a Contra Code on the chair, but Shelley reverses that into a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER ON THE CHAIR! Nope. Jimmy still won’t give it up. Shelley now duct-tapes Jacobs arms to the turnbuckle connector and flogs him with a kendo stick! Thank you sir, may I have another? Jacobs finally low-blows Shelley away and pulls out another spike to cut himself loose. Jacobs charges at Shelley with the spike, but he’s met with a kendo stick to the face. Bezerker Boot! Now Jacobs beats Shelley down with the kendo stick. He applies a camel clutch and pulls back on Shelley’s chin using the stick. Shelley will not say I quit though. Jacobs misses a flying senton and now Shelley has the spike in one hand and the kendo stick in the other and just unloads on Jacobs face. BORDER CITY STRETCH! Jacobs says no, but he’s fading away. His arm drops once, drops twice, but NOT THREE TIMES! Jacobs escapes and hits the Bezerker Drop. This time he hits the flying senton and puts Shelley down with a kendo shot to the face! Now Jacobs applies the BORDER CITY STRETCH! Shelley won’t give up and rakes Jacobs across the face. Jacobs makes a scaffold of sorts with the chairs. He wants to Contra Code Shelley through the chairs, but Shelley isn’t down with that and puts Jacobs through the chairs with the It Came From Japan II! BORDER CITY STRETCH! Jacobs gives it up. (16:47) Wow what a brutal, epic match. Afterwards, Shelley gets on the mic and says now he’s going to make Jacobs wish he had died in his sleep last night. Whoa! Roderick Strong comes in to help out with a double beatdown, but Ricky Steamboat runs in and clears them out. While Steamboat checks on Jacobs, the Carnage Crew come down and try to give him the CARNAGE DRIVER. Foley, Whitmer and Maff make the save! MANDIBLE CLAW to Loc! Double-Arm DDT to DeVito! Bang bang. Pure Wrestling 1, Hardcore 1. ****
ROH World Champion Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk – 60-Minute Time Limit
This is the first time these two have been in the ring together since Scramble Cage Melee on August 28 in a non-title three-way with Homicide, but the first one-on-one meeting since the World Title Classic on June 12 which went to a 60-minute time-limit draw. Joe shoves Punk down out of a tie-up to start. Punk drop toeholds and cradles Joe over for a two-count. Nulty mentions a pinfall victory Cabana had over Joe was due to a quick pin. Man, it’s little things like that that are so important to a wrestling match. Punk elbows out of a hammerlock, but takes a drop toehold into a *cocky* camel clutch. Punk breaks free and stays adamant with a headlock. Joe escapes several times to try and get things going, but Punk reverts back to the headlock every time. They get into a shoulderblock-off but Joe tells Punk to keep trying because he won’t go down. When Punk realizes this won’t work, he tries a cheapshot. Joe ducks and tries a knee strike, but Punk avoids *that* and rolls up Joe for two. Again, he utilizes the quick pin. Joe heads out to the floor to regroup. Back in, they exchange chops and when Punk tries a back-handed chop, Joe ducks and kicks Punk to the floor. Now Punk reevaluates and heads back in the ring. They get into a test of strength where Punk kicks at the arm to break. He hooks on a hammerlock on the mat. Punk walks the ropes and legdrops the arm in a pretty cool spot. Punk grabs an overhead wristlock, but Joe forearms out. He snapmares Punk over for the chop/kick/knee drop combo, but Punk catches the kick and trips him up so he can go back to the headlock. Nice. They go to the floor with it where Punk still has the headlock on, so Joe takes him down with a back suplex. Punk looks knocked out. Joe rolls him back in the ring and covers for 1-2-NO! Joe tries his combo again and again Punk catches the kick, so Joe chops him in the neck again and completes the combo with the knee drop. Lazy cover gets two. Punk then avoids a Running Face Wash, connects with some forearms, and delivers a Running Face Wash of his own! Punk covers for 1-2-NO! Ricky Morton knee drop off the top gets Punk another two. Punk goes for a hook kick, but Joe catches it and applies a half surfboard of sorts. Yeah, ouch. We’re thirty minutes in right about here. Punk tries to come back with a crossbody out of the corner, but Joe sees it coming and easily walks away from it. I love it when he does that. Joe hits a back suplex into a backbreaker and then follows up with a 20-second stalling suplex. Joe misses a sweeping kick once, but not twice. It’s now Boston crab time! Punk makes the ropes, but then gets pummeled in the corner and whipped as hard as possible into the opposite corner. European uppercut from Joe gets two. He hits the Running Face Wash. Ref Todd Sinclair gets onto Joe about pulling the hair. That little conversation brings Joe away from Punk long enough for Punk to get to his feet. Ahh, but Joe shuts him down with a headbutt for two. Punk hits a desperation hurracanrana out of the corner to send Joe on the floor. He meets Joe with a suicide dive! Punk sits Joe down in the corner of the guardrail and hits a Running Face Wash up against the barricade! He takes Joe to the other side of the ring and does it again. He then comes off the apron for a rana, but Joe catches him in mid-air and swings him around into the guardrail! That was NASTY! Now Joe wants the guardrail Face Wash, but Punk pops up and nails Joe! He beats Punk back down for another shot at it and this time he delivers with the guardrail Face Wash. They make their way back into the ring where Punk headscissors Joe into the corner. He charges at Joe, but runs into an STJOE! Cover, 1-2-NO! Punk is then kicked out to the floor and gets met with a suicide forearm smash from Joe! Looks like wanted to pull out some Misawa/Kobashi stuff by giving Punk a t-bone suplex off the apron, but Punk punches out. Joe settles for a DDT on the apron instead. We’re at 45 minutes in right about now. Punk runs into a spear for 1-2-NO! Joe tries a flying splash, but Punk moves out of the way. They exchange shots from their knees to their feet. Punk runs into a snap powerslam for 1-2-NO! Cross armbreaker by Joe! Punk makes the ropes. He hits a rana and a Running Big Boot gets 1-2-NO! Punk follows up with a neckbreaker out of the corner and rolls up Joe for 1-2-NO! Tornado DDT is shrugged off once, but not a second time. Punk covers for 1-2-NO! Ahh! Punk hooks on the ANACONDA VICE. Joe quickly makes the ropes. Punk tries to suplex Joe, but that’s stupid. Joe drills him with a clothesline for being so stupid and gets two. Joe hits a brainbuster for two. Punk comes back with a Devil Lock DDT! He thinks he’s won and covers for 1-2-NO! The crowd is getting antsy now. Pepsi Twist misses, so Joe hits the powerbomb into the crossface! Punk considers tapping, but then realizes he’s near the ropes and gets his foot on the bottom rope. Joe is FRUSTRATED! Punk dropkicks Joe to his knees and charges for a sunset flip that gets two. Punk hits the Pepsi Twist on the second try and follows up with a flying moonsault for 1-2-NO!! Punk ducks a short-arm clothesline and hops on Joe’s back for a sleeper! I mean, he’s trying everything here! Joe backdrop suplexes out, but Punk gets right back up and runs into a double-knockdown. Punk’s up at nine and wants the PEPSI PLUNGE, but Joe fires back! Punk judo chops away at Joe’s neck and brings him up for the PEPSI PLUNGE! What? He can’t do that to Joe! Joe tries to fight back with forearms, but Punk’s forearm shots seem to be having more effect! Joe is super dazed! Punk tries for it again, but Joe comes to and gives Punk a superplex instead. Awww. We’ve got a minute left. It’s MUSCLE BUSTA time! Punk UNLOADS on Joe in the corner and tries for the PEPSI PLUNGE again, but Joe brings him down with the MUSCLE BUSTA as the time limit expires. (60:00) Yes, sixty minutes of pure awesome. If you can find fault with this match, you are crazy. Both guys had each other’s number here, and the build to the end can’t be beat. It leaves you with the ultimate “what if” factor that if Punk eventually had hit the Pepsi Plunge, could he have beaten Joe. I think that it puts over both the wrestler and the move tremendously. Joe was already at god-like status in ROH, so a win or a loss wouldn’t have mattered to him here either way. At the time, this was labeled the greatest ROH match in its short near-three year long history. Since then, there have been classics with Kenta Kobashi, the Dragon Gate guys, Takeshi Morishima, Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuiness and Austin Aries. Even when you consider how good those matches were, it still wouldn’t be a stretch to still consider this match the best ROH match ever. *****
Final Thoughts: Well the Foley/Steamboat stuff was quite silly and disappointing to me. To say that hardcore wrestling is greater than pure wrestling is like saying apples are better than oranges. Hardcore wrestling and pure wrestling both matter and have their place, so it really just matters what you as a fan prefer. When they’re both done right, one isn’t really better than the other. Anyways, the last three matches more than make up for the rest of the stuff you have to sit through. The Rottweilers/Generation Next tag match was tons of fun and the “I Quit” match was like watching a modern-day Magnum/Blanchard match. You could feel the hatred. Naturally, Joe/Punk II is what sold the DVD. Duh. Thumbs up for ROH: Joe vs. Punk II. This was fun. I can’t wait to do more of these older ROH shows.