April 13, 2013
The Crater Review:
Ring of Honor: All Star Extravaganza 2002
November 9, 2002; Philadelphia, PA; Murphy Rec Center
We start off with Steve Corino walking into the locker room where Low Ki is at and he just got word from the Z-1 office that itís him and Ki against Shinjiro Ohtani and Masato Tanaka and Ki says that heíll do it but Homicide walks up to question Corino about what happened last show and these two argue back and forth (itís pretty bad acting too as these guys just stumble over words) and Ki breaks it up. We go live to the Murphy Rec Center in Phillie where Jeff Gorman and Chris Lovey are once again your announcers (I have to say that because Gorman actually did a decent job last time because he, you know, actually knew the names of the moves people were doing in the ring).
Opening match: Scramble match: Da Hit Squad vs Special K vs Divine Storm w/Trinity vs SAT
Special Kís music hits and they come out and tonight can they win tonightís Scramble match? Special K consists of Dixie and Joey Mercury now. Why? Because last show, Special K gave Joey some great drugs and even though he passed out after using said drugs, Joey decided to join Special K because he loved them so muchÖ.or because he wanted to get out of that feud with the Christopher Street Connection. ďSo ColdĒ by Static X hits and Divine Storm come out with Trinity and tonight can they win this Scramble match? The Spanish Announce Teamís music hits and they come out and tonight can they win this Scramble match? Special K, Divine Storm and the SAT all lost last monthís Scramble match to Homicide. Da Hit Squadís music hits and tonight can they win this Scramble match? Last month, Da Hit Squad lost a falls count anywhere match to the Carnage Crew so tonight they just want to throw around some little guys.
Everybody follows the code except for Special K and a nice Joey sucks chant starts us off as Joel Maximo and Quiet Storm start us off and they lock up and they do some mat wrestling then Joel grabs a headlock but Storm cartwheels out of a headlock but Jose with a drop toehold but Storm comes back with a tilt a whirl arm drag but Joel hits his running hurricanrana then hits a standing enziguri but Storm answers with a forearm so they trade forearms and enziguris then they trade slaps then arm drags and they have a standoff. Tag to Jose and Joey and Jose hits a shoulder tackle then he ducks a shot and hits a crossbody for a near fall but Joey reverses a whip but Jose kicks him in the face but runs into a hard clothesline. Joey throws Jose out and follows as Monsta Mack and Chris Divine come in and they do some reversals on each other and Divine grabs a full nelson then elbows out of one and hits a hurricanrana but Mack clotheslines Divine out of his boots!! Mafia is fired up and gets the tag as does Dixie and he runs into a shoulder tackle then Mafia hits some reverse elbows but Dixie comes back with some forearms and a roaring elbow then everybody goes to one corner, POWERBOMB/SUPERPLEX CAR WRECK SPOT OUT OF THE CORNER (it was way better than last month)!!! A holy shit chant starts up as Mack goes up and Jose kicks him then follows up, GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK OFF THE MIDDLE ROPE!!!! Divine goes after Mack but Mack reverses a whip but Divine with a go behind but Mack blocks so Divine dropkicks him into the ropes, GERMAN SUPLEX BY DIVINE FOR A NEAR FALL THAT JOSE BREAKS UP!!! Jose ducks a clothesline and hits a cradle suplex and Joey slides in and goes for a move but Jose fights out of it but Joey grabs him and hits a reverse DDT for a near fall that Mafia breaks up but Joey avoids the Burning Hammer BUT NOT THE HALF NELSON SUPLEX!!! Dixie attacks Mafia BUT DIXIE COUNTERS A MILITARY PRESS SLAM INTO A DDT FOR A NEAR FALL THAT STORM BREAKS UP!!!! Storm hits a German suplex and rolls through AND HITS THE SPINAL SHOCK!!!! 1-2-JOEL BREAKS IT UP!!! Joel whips Storm off the ropes and catches him, MAXIMO EXPLOSION!!!! 1-2-NO!!!! Joel whips Storm to the corner and hits a running forearm in the corner then a German suplex then Jose hits one of his own AND THE SAT KEEP GIVING QUIET STORM GERMAN SUPLEXES!!! The SAT go up top, MOONSAULT/LEG DROP COMBO!!!!! Joey throws Joel out but Jose beats on Joey but Joey fights back and whips Jose to the corner and Jose goes for an up and over BUT JOEY KICKS HIM IN THE BALLS ON THE WAY DOWN!!! Dixie hits a forearm off the top but Da Hit Squad come in and Mack whips Mafia into an avalanche on Dixie THEN MACK WHIPS MAFIA INTO A SENTON IN THE CORNER ON DIXIE!!! Mack slaps the Figure Four on Dixie and Mack goes up top, FROG SPLASH!!! Storm hits a dropkick off the top on Mack and Divine Storm catch Mafia with a double backbreaker then a double flatliner for a near fall and Divine hits a baseball slide on Mack but the SAT are in the ring with Storm, DOUBLE TURNBUCKLE POWERBOMB TO CROTCH DIXIE ON THE TOP ROPE!!!! SPANISH FLY ON DIXIE!!!! 1-2-3 AND THE SPANISH ANNOUNCE TEAM GET THE WIN AT 10:13!!!! Joey and Izzy check on Dixie, who says that heís hurt, as the SAT celebrate the win and everybody, including Joey Mercury.
Crater rating: 8.0 out of 10. This was a hell of a match to kick off the show and the right way to do a Scramble match. Now that was fun! Instead of these guys flying around the ring and out of the ring like a bunch of idiots, these guys decided to just try and kill each other with some sick big moves. I think it was the added dynamic of Da Hit Squad and Joey Mercury that made the other guys switch their game plans or Iíll just think outside of the box and say that they did that so these matches donít become so damn repetitive. While the opening minutes were just some minor feeling out stuff, once that car wreck spot happened, these guys went balls to the wall with the head dropping moves!! Everybody outside of Special K got a chance to showcase some crazy moves (letís face it, they were just there to take the pin) and it just goes to show you that when these guys arenít flying around, they have a whole other arsenal of sick moves to take everybody out with. The SAT, thanks to the win, would earn a tag team title match soon (which was surprising as I was anticipating a victory for Da Hit Squad) while everybody else would continue to do what they do. I wish Scramble matches were like this: short and fun. 10 minutes is not that long for this many guys but when you try to have these guys go over 10 minutes, everything falls apart and gets repetitive so I like it when they change things up and tighten the match and let these showcase more than just their high flying skills (because we know they can do that).
We go to the Prophecy in the back where Christopher Daniels brags about the Prophecy having all the gold and Samoa Joe continues to make faces behind his back, haha, and Xavier even tries to brag about beating Low Ki (well he did take every chop and kick that Ki threw at him, just the match sucked). Simply Luscious tries to talk shit to Joe about shaking hands but Joe just blows her off and Joe says that heís gonna get paid tonight and heíll shake hands if he wants to BITCH!!
Match 2: #1 Contenderís Gauntlet match: CM Punk vs Michael Shane
CM Punkís music hits and he comes out (ďItís clobberiní time!!Ē) and tonight can he defeat Michael Shane and advance to the next portion of the #1 contenderís gauntlet? The theme for this show is that there is a #1 contenderís trophy on the line with the winner getting a future shot at the ROH title down the line. AJ Styles has the best advantage since heís not even involved in the gauntlet matches but in the finals with the trophy on the line. CM Punk made his ROH debut at Unscripted and vowed to leave his mark so can he win the #1 contenderís trophy on his first night wrestling for the company? Michael Shaneís music hits and he comes out and tonight can he defeat CM Punk to advance to the next match in the #1 contenderís gauntlet? Shane turned down a Prophecy spot then at the end of last monthís show, he got in Xavierís face and vowed to win the trophy tonight.
Both guys follow the code to start the match as the crowd is instantly hot for Punk and they lock up and Shane with a waist lock takedown but Punk rolls out and works the arm with a wrist lock but Shane rolls and flips around and grabs a headlock takedown but Punk headscissors out but Shane rolls out of it and grabs a headlock but Punk counters to his own headlock but Shane shoves him off and catches Punk with an arm drag but Punk rolls out of it and hits a firemanís carry but Shane grabs the ropes to avoid an arm bar. Test of strength between these two but Shane kicks out of it to gain the advantage but Punk gets out of it and hits some chops but Shane ducks under a whip but Punk comes back with a pair of arm drags and grounds Shane with an arm bar and Punk hits a snapmare then starts slamming Shaneís arm off the mat then grabs an arm bar then Punk goes to the top rope, ROPE WALK LEG DROP ON THE ARM FOR A NEAR FALL!!! Punk goes back to the arm bar then goes for the rope walk again but Shane pulls his arm away and hits a back suplex to take control. Shane stomps away on Punkís head then hits a low dropkick to the head for a near fall while he still sells the arm and Shane continues to work Punk over with one arm and he hits some chops in the corner then hits a snapmare into a chin lock to ground Punk but Punk fights out of the hold then back flips out of a back suplex and does a sunset flip for a near fall but Shane turns him inside out with a clothesline! Shane slams Punk then hits a leg drop across the back of his head and goes to the middle rope, SECOND ROPE PICTURE PERFECT ELBOW FOR A NEAR FALL!!! Shane grabs a front face lock but Punk battles out of the hold but Shane reverses a whip to send Punk sternum first into the corner and clotheslines him from behind for a near fall as the crowd starts up a boring chant. Punk fights back with some chops but Shane thumbs him in the eye then grabs a chin lock on the mat but Punk fights back but Shane reverses a whip but Punk boots him in the face but Shane hits a spear but used his injured arm and hurts himself (making me recall the Edge/Eddie Guerrero match from Summerslam where Edge hit the Spear on Eddie using his injured arm that Eddie flat out BUTCHERED the entire match). They trade blows but Shane catches Punk with a shoulder tackle but Punk dropkicks him in the arm then hits an armbreaker then a slingshot hilo on the arm for a near fall! Punk fights back with some chops then does an up and over in the corner BUT WALKS INTO A JUMPING ENZIGURI FOR A NEAR FALL!!! Shane hits some punches then goes for a powerbomb but Punk slips out and grabs a step over cross armbreaker but Shane gets his foot in the ropes so Punk slams him and goes up top, SPLIT LEGGED MOONSAULT HITS SHANEíS KNEES!!! Shane tries to pull Punk out of the corner the hard way but Punk flips out of that and goes for a springboard crossbody BUT EATS SWEET SHANE MUSIC ON THE WAY DOWN!!! 1-2-NO!!! Shane goes up top, PICTURE PERFECT ELBOW MISSES!!! SHINING WIZARD!!!! 1-2-THR-NO!!! Punk calls for the end and he whips Shane off the ropes but Shane with a go behind but Punk rolls him up for a near fall until Shane counters to his own and grabs the ropes, 1-2-3 AND MICHAEL SHANE GETS THE WIN AT 13:05 TO ADVANCE TO THE NEXT MATCH IN THE #1 CONTENDERíS GAUNTLET!!! The crowd nor Punk likes that and a loud Bullshit chant starts up as Shane celebrates the cheap win and has Punk shake his hand to follow the code.
Crater rating: 7.0 out of 10. A good first match for Punk but the crowd wasnít into it. Hey look, Punk was wrestling a WWE style match! That last statement is basically what this match was as they wrestled a technical and smart match AKA a WWE style match and the crowd didnít really respect it as much as they could. The sad thing about opening up a show with a fun Scramble match is the fact that the following match is usually not well received and the fact that the match was CM Punkís ROH debut really hurts what could have been a special moment and match. You could tell these guys werenít going all the way with their offense and it would take Punk a little while to find his groove in ROH because some of his early ROH matches did not give people any indication of what Punk would truly become in Ring of Honor but this match showed that Punk can wrestle a technical match better than most guys and Shane was game. The problem was the crowd because when they think of technical matches, they are thinking of guys like American Dragon and Doug Williams stretching the ever loving shit out of people so the fact that these guys played it safe and didnít bust out any major moves for Punkís debut hurt this one. At least the match had some logic going for it as Punk worked the arm pretty decently and Shane sold it very well at times (it wasnít all the time but more than most people) and the final couple of minutes were pretty good and make this better than the average WWE mid card match that follows a similar pattern. This was only the beginning for Punk and it would take him a while to even scratch the surface of how good he really is and he would embark on the feud of the year against Raven next year then truly break out wrestling wise in 2004 in his three match series with Samoa Joe. As for Shane, he moves on to face the next opponent.
Match 3: #1 contenderís gauntlet match: Paul London vs Michael Shane
Paul Londonís music hits and he comes out (wearing that stupid singlet again) and tonight can he defeat Michael Shane and advance to the next match in the #1 contenderís gauntlet? Punk passes London and tells him to kick Shaneís ass. These two have been feuding the past couple of shows and the highlight of the feud was their awesome Street Fight from Unscripted and last month, Shane pinned both London and Spanky to earn the name of the Showstopper but Shane won it so nobody else can use it again.
They both reluctantly shake hands then trade blows until Shane throws London to the floor and follows with a double sledge off the apron then Shane hits a chop against the guardrail but London hits some of his own then hits a roundhouse kick to the head!! The crowd is behind London as Shane reverses a whip to send London crashing through the guardrail and Shane drinks some water AND FOLLOWS UP WITH A SUPLEX ON THE HARD WOOD FLOOR, OUCH!!!! Both guys enter the ring and Shane pulls him into an inside cradle for a near fall and hits a Canadian backbreaker for a near fall then sets him up, POWERBOMB!!! Shane turns him over into a vertical Boston crab then puts Londonís shoulders on the mat for a near fall then lifts him up but London rolls through in a sunset flip for a near fall but Shane clotheslines him but London reverses a whip to the corner but runs into a boot and Shane leaps over London and hits a running tornado DDT for a near fall! Shane hits a gutbuster and London is holding his ribs in agony and Shane struggles to pull London up to his feet, LEG SWEEP DDT!!! 1-2-3 AND PAUL LONDON GETS THE WIN AT 4:38 TO ADVANCE TO THE NEXT MATCH IN THE #1 CONTENDERíS GAUNTLET!!! The crowd loves it as London just suckered Shane in just like Shane did a couple of shows ago and the Goodbye song is being sung for Shane. Shane doesnít want to shake Londonís hand though so he grabs a microphone and says that he never wins cheap ass victories like that as a loud shut the fuck up chant starts up and Shane says that there is no way in hell that heís gonna shake Londonís hand and Shane starts to walk to the back celebrating BUT TOMMY FUCKING DREAMER COMES OUT!!!!!!!!! Dreamer tells Shane to get his ass in the ring to shake Londonís hand as the Phillie crowd welcomes Tommy Dreamer back home (Dreamer was on RAW at the time and he was the last Hardcore champion in WWE history when he lost a unification match to Rob Van Dam). Dreamer attempts to get on the mike but the fans are too busy chanting his name so Dreamer tells them that he booted in the face pretty hard so he canít talk too well but he says that heís not leaving until Shane shakes Londonís hand. Dreamer says that he was part of something special for 8 years of his life and he proceeds to put over ECW and Phillie and everybody tries to start up a welcome back chant but Dreamer gets in a funny one to shut everybody up and says that he wishes he could come back but heís doing a house show in a little bit and actually gets a paycheck now, haha. Dreamer says that ROH reminds him of ECW and that the Murphy Rec Center is a place of honor and that eventually WWE would start taking all of ROHís talent (Spanky was the first to go) but Dreamer thanks everybody and orders Shane to shake Londonís hand. Shane and London shake Dreamerís hand then they shake each otherís hands but Shane clotheslines London and Dreamer looks a little pissed, DREAMER DDT!!!! Dreamer raises Londonís hand in victory then leaves to more cheers to ďMan in the BoxĒ by Alice in Chains (awesome!).
Crater rating: 6.0 out of 10. A solid little match with a nice ending and a great special appearance. The Innovator of Violence has returned! The match itself was ok but a little on the short side due to the gauntlet format, they didnít get a chance to cut loose. The ending was a nice storyline move as London suckered Shane in with a fake injury just like Shane did in an earlier match between the two so the ending was nice and continues the one-upmanship of London and Shane. The aftermath is awesome with Tommy Dreamer returning to Phillie and getting his welcome home pops. While Dreamer wasnít doing much in the WWE due to the Hardcore title being dead, it is awesome nice to see Dreamer in Phillie and listen to him get these major pops because that is the only place heíll get some huge popsÖ.aside from New York. But at the end of the day, the London/Shane feud continues but London moves on.
Match 4: #1 contenderís gauntlet match: Paul London vs Amazing Red
Amazing Redís music hits and he comes out and tonight can he defeat Paul London and advance to the next match in the gauntlet? The winner will meet American Dragon next.
Both guys follow the code to start the match and they tie up and London grabs a headlock but Red shoves him off but London with a shoulder tackle but Red leap frogs him and London messes up landing on his feet out of a monkey flip then I think they both go for an arm drag but they botch that I think so London trips him up for a one count when Red bridges up but London levels him with a forearm then hits the dropsault but Red back drops him onto the top rope, 718 TO THE GUT!!! Red attempts a moonsault off the apron but London catches him, TILT A WHIRL DDT ON THE FLOOR BY RED!!! Red goes for a baseball slide but London catches him AND SWINGS HIM HEAD FIRST INTO THE GUARDRAIL!!! London gets a near fall back inside then hits a delayed vertical suplex (or delayed brainbuster, not sure) for a near fall and London goes to the middle rope then leaps over Red but Red hits a pair of kicks to the back of the head then a step kick in the corner, also to the back of the head, but Red runs into an elbow but London sweeps his legs but Red kips up and sweeps Londonís legs AND HITS THE RED STAR PRESS IN ONE FLUID MOTION!!!! 1-2-THR-NO!!!! London hits some forearms then whips Red to the corner but London gets lifted to the apron and goes up top but Red crotches him on the top rope and follows up and they fight on the top rope, STANDING SUPER RANA OFF THE TOP ROPE BY RED!!!!! 1-2-THR-NO!!!! A holy shit chant starts up after that as Red kicks London in the head and hits some shots but London reverses a whip, RYDIEN BOMB!!! LONDON STAR PRESS!!!! 1-2-3 AND PAUL LONDON GETS THE WIN AT 5:45 TO MEET AMERICAN DRAGON IN THE NEXT GAUNTLET MATCH!!!! London is now moving on to face American Dragon.
Crater rating: 8.0 out of 10. A great little match and I only wish they could have had more time. Man, these two deserve to go 10 minutes! These two mix together very well and itís a shame that we didnít get more London/Red matches where these two can really cut loose. I liked how these two just abandoned trying to outwrestle each other and just tried to get the quick win to save their strength, especially London who had just competed in a match, so they were both looking for the home run move and London just hit his first. Iíve said in the past that Red is a hit and miss kind of wrestler and by miss, I mean when he wrestles with the other spot monkeys. When Red wrestles with the SAT, Divine Storm and Special K, he tends to go too over the top with his high flying moves but when heís reeled in by guys like London or Ikuto, he can be very entertaining since he mixes up his offense, not trying to out fly the other guys. London was a similar wrestler but unlike Red, London learned to make his big moves have a purpose (look no further than the street fight from Unscripted) and that is why London was able to have good matches with Xavier soon: he reeled in his crazy persona and had his big moves tell a story but sometimes, itís just fun to watch two guys like this just trying to outdo each other and thatís why little matches like this are gems.
Match 5: #1 contenderís Gauntlet match: Paul London vs American Dragon
ďSelf EsteemĒ hits and American Dragon comes out and tonight can he defeat Paul London and advance to the next gauntlet match against AJ Styles to crown the #1 contender? Dragon has an excellent advantage over London since London has already wrestled twice (unlike with Spanky where Spanky had wrestled once and beat Dragon). Dragon also just got back from a month in Japan.
Both men follow the code to start and Dragon instantly rides London down to the mat and Dragon basically schools London on the mat but London gets a quick advantage but Dragon escapes and they have a standoff. Both guys grab knuckle locks but then Dragon goes for the arm and he bends the wrist to drag London down to the mat and he has Londonís shoulders on the mat but London keeps bridging out of pins so Dragon grinds his knee in Londonís face then grabs a headlock on the mat but London scissors out but Dragon escapes and pulls on Londonís nose, ouch! Dragon grabs a half nelson then covers for a near fall and Dragon just rides around in circles while holding onto London but London puts his feet on the ropes to break the hold. Dragon takes time to tie up his boots and they lock up again and London with a waist lock but Dragon easily gets out of it and grabs a wrist lock but London kips up out of it but gets caught with a butterfly suplex. Dragon throws London hard to the floor then hits a stiff European uppercut but London fights back with one of his own but Dragon regains control then he pulls London to the apron and ties London up in the ropes and first bitch slaps him then hits some chops then dropkicks him right in the head for a near fall when London got his foot on the ropes. They trade forearms until Dragon starts KILLING London with European uppercuts then grabs a Jackknife pin for a near fall and he whips London to the corner but London gets an elbow up and goes for a middle rope moonsault BUT DRAGON DROPKICKS HIM ON THE WAY DOWN!! Dragon kips up then covers for a near fall but they trade chops then shots and every time London hits a shot, Dragon hits an even stiffer one but London counters a hip toss into a DDT then fights back with forearms and the dropsault. London hits a back body drop then a nice standing moonsault for a near fall then hits some forearms in the corner but Dragon reverses a whip to the corner and hits a left handed lariat for a near fall then sits London on the top rope and follows up but London back flips out of a super back suplex and goes back up, SECOND ROPE RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP!!! London goes up top but Dragon gets to his feet and crotches him on the top rope and follows up, SUPERPLEX!!!! 1-2-NO!!! London sits out of the Dragon suplex and pulls Dragon into a roll up for a near fall but Dragon with a clothesline, RELEASE DRAGON SUPLEX!!!! CATTLE MUTILATION!!!! PAUL LONDON TAPS OUT TO GIVE AMERICAN DRAGON THE WIN AT 10:11 TO MEET AJ STYLES FOR THE #1 CONTENDERíS TROPHY!!! Dragon celebrates the win and he will get some time to rest too since his match with AJ isnít until later on.
Crater rating: 6.5 out of 10. This was a little too one sided but it told a great internal story. Well itís Dragon vs AJ to determine the #1 contender! If anything, this match was very storyline driven than anything else but its story was very compelling: you have the fresh mat wrestler who wrestles a grounded but aggressive style in Dragon against the plucky high flier in London who has already wrestled twice so Dragon came in with the advantage and he just made London wrestle his kind of match until he put him away. London tried to make it interesting once or twice but Dragon controlled at least 95% of the match and it wasnít exactly a disrespectful thing either, it was just that London had just wrestled two matches and Dragon made London wrestle a style of match that he wasnít used to because he could brawl with Shane and trade aerial moves with Red but trying to outwrestle Dragon was a nightmare. The great thing about this is that London and Dragon were not done and they would meet again and in 2003, these two would have what many consider one of the greatest matches in Ring of Honor history at the Epic Encounter show so these two were not done yet. However, it is Dragon vs AJ with the #1 contenderís trophy on the line later in the show.
Match 6: Six man tag team match for the ROH tag team titles: The Prophecy (Christopher Daniels, Donovan Morgan and Samoa Joe) © w/Simply Luscious vs Low Ki, Homicide & Doug Williams
The music of the ROH tag team champions, the Prophecy, hits and they come out with Simply Luscious and tonight can they retain the ROH tag team titles against Low Ki, Homicide and Doug Williams? At Unscripted, Daniels and Morgan defeated the Spanish Announce Team, Ikuto Hidaka & Dick Togo and American Dragon and Mike Modest in a tag team tournament to become the first ever ROH tag team champions. However, there is a loophole there that they have a trophy, not tag team belts, and since the Prophecy are listed as tag team champions, any members of the group can defend them (like the Spirit Squad!). Ki and Daniels have their long history dating back to the first show and Williams hates Daniels because Daniels beat him, forcing him to lose the right to shake hands in Ring of Honor and Ki and Williams have gotten Homicide to join them because heís bros with Ki while Joe has been paid to be apart of the match by the Prophecy after he lost to Low Ki last month in one hell of a fight. Low Kiís music hits and he comes out with Homicide and Doug Williams and tonight can they win the ROH tag team titles against the Prophecy?
The Prophecy fake the faces out by attempting a sneak attack to start the match but they just laugh it out so the faces attack and Williams starts out with Daniels and hits a back body drop then Homicide clotheslines Daniels but Daniels just barely avoids a head kick from Ki and he rolls outside to regroup. Ki decides to start off against Morgan, who looks like a taller and bigger Dean Malenko tonight, but Joe tags himself in but Daniels tags himself in and tells Joe to go to the apron and he tells Ki to come on but he tags Morgan back in and weíre back to where we started and Morgan grabs a single leg takedown and keeps control of the leg but Ki tries to counter to a cross armbreaker but Morgan rolls out of it and turns it over into an STF then floats over into a front face lock but Ki switches up to a hammerlock on the mat but Morgan rolls out and grabs a front face lock again but Ki slams him down and Ki fires some strikes on the mat but Morgan gets on top and he grabs a waist lock, standing switch by Ki but Morgan elbows out and hits a shoulder block and Morgan tries to run the ropes but Ki kicks him but Morgan ducks under another kick and Ki grabs a crucifix arm bar but he rolls Ki off and they have a standoff. Tag to Joe and Williams and they lock up and Joe spins out into a waist lock and Williams sits out but Joe grabs a top wrist lock but Williams rolls away and grabs a headlock but Joe spins out and fires a kick to the ribs then rolls forward into the ankle lock but Williams gets out of it and grabs Joeís leg but Joe kicks his way out of it. They lock up and Joe hits a headbutt then backs Williams to the corner and Daniels gets the tag but Williams fights out of the corner and tags in Homicide and Homicide grabs a headlock then hits a shoulder block and they trade arm drags then they botch something so Homicide recovers with a DDT but Daniels reverses a whip but Homicide counters a tilt a whirl into an arm drag and hits an Exploder suplex then takes out Morgan then Joe, low blow to Daniels, YAKUZA KICK TO DANIELS!!! Tag to Ki and he hits a snap elbow drop for a near fall then grabs a triangle hold but Joe breaks it up but Homicide gets the tag and he grabs some sort of crossface then grabs an arm submission hold then tags in Williams and he hits a springboard knee drop on the arm and Williams hits some European uppercuts and the faces decide to use some of the Prophecyís cheating tactics on Daniels and William whips Daniels to the corner and hits a running knee lift in the corner and follows up with a pump splash into a knee drop for a near fall that Joe breaks up! Tag to Homicide and he hits a suplex for a near fall then reverses a whip and he blocks a hip toss and takes Danielsí head off with a clothesline and Ki gets the tag and they whip him to the corner, DOUBLE YAKUZA KICK FOR A NEAR FALL!!!! Ki hits a suplex with a bridge for a near fall and Williams gets the tag and he hits a falling headbutt then grabs the Gory Special then he trips Morgan up AND PUTS HIM IN THE HALF BOSTON CRAB WHILE STILL HAVING DANIELS IN THE GORY SPECIAL BUT JOE BREAKS IT UP WITH A BOOT TO THE FACE!!!! Joe gets the tag and he snapmares Williams and chops him in the back then kicks him in the chest and Morgan tags in and he hits some shots then a thumb to the eye and rams Williams into the corner but Williams reverses a whip to the corner but runs into a boot then Morgan hits a swinging hurricanrana out of the corner for a near fall!! Tag to Daniels and they whip Williams off the ropes and hit a double hip toss then Morgan hits an elbow drop then Daniels hits a leg drop for a near fall and Daniels grabs a modified crossface on Williams while on the mat then Joe comes in to just kick Williams in the chest for a near fall.
Daniels throws Williams out then baits Ki and Homicide in as Joe whips Williams into a clothesline from Morgan and Morgan bounces his face off a chair and they roll him back in so Daniels can hit a gutwrench suplex for a near fall then tags in Morgan and he hits a seated dropkick to the lower back then grabs a half nelson with his leg but Williams rolls him over and counters it into a surfboard but Joe breaks that up. Tag to Joe and he hits a hanging vertical suplex for a near fall that Ki breaks up then he shoves the referee and Daniels gets the tag but Williams pulls him into an inside cradle as Joe distracted the referee and Morgan shoves Williams to put his shoulders on the mat but Ki pushes him back and Williams gets a near fall on Daniels. Daniels hits the Uranage slam, BEST MOONSAULT EVER!!!! 1-2-THR-NO!!!! Daniels and Morgan whip Williams off the ropes but he takes them both out and tags in Homicide and he cleans house on everybody then sits Daniels on the top rope and follows up, SUPER ACE CRUSHER!!!! 1-2-MORGAN BREAKS IT UP!!! Everybody comes in and we got a pier 6 brawl and Williams goes to the top rope and wipes Morgan out with a crossbody!! ARABIAN PRESS BY DANIELS ON WILLIAMS ON THE FLOOR!!!! TOPE CON HILO BY HOMICIDE BUT THEY CATCH HIM!!!!! KI HITS A SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY ON EVERYBODY!!!! Joe is all alone in the ring and the crowd chants for him to do it, RUNNING CORKSCREW PLANCHA BY SAMOA JOE, HAHA!!!!! Joe and Williams roll back in, KAWADA KICKS THEN A DRAGON SUPLEX, 1-2-NO!!!! Williams slips out of the Island Driver but Morgan attacks him but Williams blocks a move so Morgan clubs him then just takes him out with a head drop back suplex for a near fall that Homicide breaks up but Morgan ducks under a clothesline, GOLDEN GATE SWING!!!! 1-2-KI BREAKS IT UP!!!! Homicide with a dragon screw, STF!!!! Daniels leaps off the top to break it up but Homicide reverses a whip to the corner and clotheslines him then sits him on the top rope, HURRICANRANA OFF THE TOP BUT DANIELS HOLDS ON AND COUNTERS TO A SUNSET FLIP PIN FOR A NEAR FALL THAT LOW KI BREAKS UP!!!! Ki fires off some chops on Daniels and Daniels blocks the Ki Krusher but Ki blocks the Last Rites and Ki rolls him up for a near fall then whips him to the corner but Daniels avoids the Tidal Krush and follows up top with Ki, SUPER REVERSE HURRICANRANA (that didnít look good for either guy)!!! 1-2-NO!!!! The fans are really getting into this one as Daniels calls for the end and wants the Angelís Wings but Ki lifts him up and Homicide comes in to try and hit the Cop Killa but Joe breaks that up and hits an enziguri then goes for the Island Driver but Williams breaks that up and goes for the Chaos Theory but Morgan breaks that up and goes for the Sayonara but Ki breaks it up and goes for the Dragon Clutch but Daniels breaks up with a palm strike, POWERBOMB/NECKBREAKER COMBO FOR A NEAR FALL THAT WILLIAMS BREAKS UP!!! Daniels throws Williams off of his rebound tornado DDT, CHAOS THEORY, 1-2-MORGAN BREAKS IT UP!!! GOLDEN GATE SWING!!! 1-2-HOMICIDE BREAKS IT UP!!!! BRAINBUSTER!!! 1-2-JOE BREAKS IT UP!!! KAWADA KICKS BY JOE!!!! Joe whips him off the ropes but Homicide ducks a shot and hits a pair of clotheslines but Joe no sells them and tells him to try again so Homicide hits a third one so Joe goes for one but Homicide blocks it and tries for the Cop Killa but Joe gets out of it and starts slapping Homicide, POWERBOMB INTO THE STF THEN TURNS IT INTO A CHOKE WITH A BODY SCISSORS!!!!! HOMICIDE GETS CHOKED OUT AND THE PROPHECY GETS THE WIN AT 23:30 TO RETAIN THE ROH TAG TEAM TITLES!!!! The Prophecy celebrate in the ring then Daniels does some gloating and Joe faces his opponents and Joe shakes Kiís hand and Daniels canít believe it as Joe checks on Homicide and Daniels shoves Joe but Joe scares them away to the back as Ki and Williams check on Homicide and they help him up but Williams says that tag team partners donít shake hands, tag team partners gotta hug (well technically he canít shake hands anyway and thank you Kurt Angle).
Crater rating: 9.0 out of 10. This was, once again, another awesome match between the usual suspects and Homicideís first real main event shot. Woo, what a match! It seems like Iím always saying that when I mention Low Ki but the guy has been on fire this year and the fact that he has been involved 7 MOTYC (heís wrestled 10 matches with his match with Daniels from RRC being great, his match with Amazing Red from Road to the Title being awesome and his match with Xavier from Unscripted, not so much) in this one year is just astounding! However, it wasnít just on him to provide the awesome as all six of these guys are varying degrees of greatness in their own right and the fact that Homicide was the weak link of the match (this was his first high profile match in ROH) really should tell you about the talent involved. The match started off great with the faces using some of the Prophecyís tactics to wear down Daniels then the Prophecy saw an opening on Williams and took advantage for a couple of minutes then just threw the rule book and tags out and just went balls to the wall for the end of it and it was just awesome. The standout was Samoa Joe by a mile since not only did the crowd LOVE this guy, Joe walks that line of just being a guy whoís doing his job but maintaining honor and principle just fine. Joe was the wild card of the match as he was always there to break up pins and submissions (unless he was involved in them) and made sure that the faces didnít have control for too long and I like that the faces could run circles around Daniels and Morgan but when Joe came in, they had to change up their strategies and even though Ki has wrestled Joe before and knew what to expect, Williams and Homicide havenít so they were caught off guard. This was Homicideís first time in the major ROH spotlight and I have to say that he should get used to it since he would become one of the main players of the company and when Joe would have his LONG ROH title reign, Joe and Cide would wrestle each other a lot for the title but at this point, Homicide was just a tag team wrestler and was not on the level of these other guys. Morgan was made to look better because of Daniels and I havenít really been too impressed with Morgan honestly because heís mostly only wrestled with Daniels or teamed with him and his only match not involving Daniels was his time limit draw with American Dragon and Dragon schooled him in that match while Morgan limped to the finish so Morgan needs to step his game up if he wants to continue to hang with the big boys whereas Williams has adapted just fine in the role that he is in. The 9.0-10 out of 10 matches continue to just dial up for Low Ki in a year where he had an endless amount of them and the fact that he would add another great match later on tonight (which explains his limited role in this match) to his resume just showed that Ki could not be stopped in 2002 but he would lose that mantra in 2003 when guys like Samoa Joe, American Dragon, AJ Styles and even Paul London stepping up to put up better matches than him but everybody can say that 2002 was the year of Low Ki and this is another awesome match that he can brag about.
Match 7: Alexis Laree vs Allison Danger w/Mace
Alexis Lareeís music hits and she comes out and tonight can she defeat Allison Danger? This feud started when Danger told Alexis that she was in love with her and has been trying to show that love to Alexis but Laree ainít no lesbian so she has roughly been turning Danger down so Danger has had the Christopher Street Connection beat Alexis down but now Alexis gets Danger. Allison Dangerís music hits (she comes out first) and she comes out with Mace (Buff E left the company) and tonight can she defeat Alexis Laree?
Both women follow the code to start and Danger pulls Alexis down by her hair for a one count and Danger tries to escape but Laree throws her around by her hair so Danger bails (both ladies look hot by the way). Laree hits an ugly baseball slide then knocks Mace off the apron then goes up top, CROSSBODY OFF THE TOP ONTO MACE!!! Danger blindsides Laree then bounces her face off the apron then we get a clip and Laree tries to fight back inside and she reverses a whip and ducks her head very early so Danger hits a neckbreaker across her knee for a near fall. Danger kisses Laree, which is pretty hot, THEN CRAWLS UP LAREEíS BODY, NICE!!! Laree spears her down and bounces her head off the mat then bounces her head off the top turnbuckle a couple of times but Danger reverses a whip to the corner but Laree avoids a charge and hits a reverse DDT, 1-2-3 AND ALEXIS LAREE GETS THE WIN AT 3:22!! Laree talks trash to Danger and she wants a handshake and they do follow the code but Mace knocks Laree down then keeps trying to pull her up and gets her up and hits a suplex then talks trash. Referees slide in to check on Laree (itís just a suplex people).
Crater rating: 4.0 out of 10. Aside from the sexiness of both competitors, this was pretty bad. Well, at least they were hot. Itís sad that the WWE are producing much better women matches than the Indies but part of the problem is due to the inexperience of both ladies. Danger is hot but she canít wrestle or take bumps worth a damn while Laree is green as grass. The good thing is that both ladies would get much better in the future but it would be a couple of years. Laree, in particular, would get called up to the WWE in late 2005 and take part of one of the best women storylines of all time and one of the best storylines in a while by playing Trish Stratusí stalker and it leading up to her beating Trish for the Womenís title at WM XXII. Danger, on the other hand, would become one of ROHís top women wrestlers but this is still very early in their careers so they are like Torrie Wilson at this point: hot to look at but not very good in the ring.
Match 8: Bunkhouse match: Carnage Crew vs Ring Crew
Carnage Crewís music hits and they come out and tonight they get a bunch of ring crew guys to destroy. Carnage Crew has been destroying the ring crew guys before every show and now ROH decided to make it a match. Loc and Devito slide in and clean house with their hub caps! They snapmare one guy and give him a Con-Hubcap-Ho then they assault more ring crew guys with steel chairs and Loc gives one guy a swinging neckbreaker as Devito gives one a belly to belly suplex into the ropes then they give one guy a double spinebuster then grab a double crab then they catch Dunn and Marcos coming off the top and give them full nelson slams. Loc sits one guy on top of the turnbuckle then pulls him down and they both hit charging attacks on the guy then Devito goes up and gives the guy a belly to belly suplex off the top! They give Dunn a double back suplex then Loc hands Marcos to Devito, SPIKE PILEDRIVER!!!! 1-2-3 AND THE CARNAGE CREW GET THE WIN AT 2:27!! Loc and Devito bully the referee then celebrate for beating up a bunch of jobbers.
Crater rating: N/A. Iím not gonna rate this because itís the same thing theyíve been doing every show to the ring crew guys with the only difference is that the Carnage Crew get to pin them to end the massacre. It has no point in being on this show. Gary Michael Cappetta is in the ring and he invites back JT Smith, who was a former member of the FBI in ECW. Joey Matthews comes down with some Special K guys, who are all high, and taunts him and plays around with him. Smith cleans house but Dixie breaks it up by using his cane and they stomp away on Smith and Joey clotheslines Smith with Dixieís crutch and some guys come out to scare them away (donít know who they are) but the big black guy destroys the guardrail, gets in the ring, and gives one guy a Chokeslam then the other guy some scoop Diamond Cutter then shakes Smithís hand.
Match 9: ROH title match: Xavier © w/Simply Luscious vs Jay Briscoe
Jay Briscoeís music hits and he comes out and tonight can he defeat Xavier, like he did at the last show, and become the ROH champion? At the last show, Jay defeated Xavier in a non-title match to earn a shot at the title. Simply Luscious is in the ring and she announces the ROH champion, Xavier, to the ring and the Ring of Honor championís, Xavier, music hits and tonight can he retain the title in his first title defense?
Xavier doesnít follow the code and he shoves Jay away to start the match and they tie up and Xavier tries to monkey flip Jay but Jay holds on so Jay tries the same thing but Xavier holds on and they break clean. Jay grabs a waist lock, standing switches by both guys until Xavier hits a firemanís carry and works the wrist and Jay flips out, slips but takes Xavier down with a double leg for a near fall. Jay grabs the wrist and works the arm but Xavier rolls through into a leg lock and then grapevines the leg and grabs a chin lock but Jay pulls him down into a leg lock of his own but Xavier kicks him in the back and rolls over and Xavier goes for a cross armbreaker but Jay blocks it but Xavier grabs the hold but Jay rolls out nicely and covers for a near fall then grabs a key lock on the mat but Xavier bridges his way up and has the advantage over Jay with a key lock then just breaks that up with a stiff kick to the back. Both men trade blows then chops and Jay hits a Yakuza kick but Xavier comes back with a spin kick to the face but Jay fires back with some chops and he goes for the Jay Driller early but Xavier escapes and rolls to the floor. Xavier recuperates on the floor and back inside, Xavier calls for a test of strength but goes for a kick but Jay saw it coming and blocks it. We get the test of strength next and Xavier gets the advantage but Jay fights back and hits a pair of arm drags then a hurricanrana and he hits a nice dropkick. Jay blocks an up and over out of the corner and turns it into a sit down facebuster, CACTUS CLOTHESLINE BY JAY!!!! Jay tries to suplex Xavier back in BUT XAVIER SUPLEXES JAY TO THE FLOOR!!! Xavier follows up with an elbow off the apron then whips Jay through a piece of the guardrail then rams Jayís back into the ring post to continue the assault on the lower back. Xavier hits a running boot back inside then sets Jay for a spine kick but decides not to do it to piss off the crowd, haha, then chokes Jay over the middle rope and Luscious helps out. Xavier hits a running straddle in the ropes for a near fall. Xavier hits some chops in the corner but Jay rams Xavier into the apron and fights back with some chops then hits a sit down gourdbuster for a near fall. Xavier ducks under a whip and hits an overhead belly to belly suplex for a near fall then Xavier decides to choke Jay on the mat but Jay fights back but Luscious trips him up so Jay goes to the floor to berate her but Xavier forearms him off the apron and goes up top AND HE LEAPS OFF THE TOP TURNBUCKLE INTO A SPRINGBOARD ARABIAN PRESS, NICE!!!! Xavier shoves Jay into the ring post head first then grabs a chair and he leans it against Jayís head AND YAKUZA KICKS THE CHAIR INTO JAYíS FACE!!!! Xavier rams Jayís head into the ring post again and Jayís busted open and Xavier gets in the ring and he starts stomping the cut then follows up with a backbreaker for a near fall. Xavier grabs a full nelson on the mat to slow things down but Jay fights out of the hold but he runs into a knee to the midsection and he grabs the seated Cattle Mutilation but he lets go of it rather quickly but he does bitch slap Jay then slams him down. Xavier goes up top but Jay avoids a senton and goes for the Jay Driller BUT XAVIER COUNTERS WITH THE ALABAMA SLAM FOR A NEAR FALL!!! Xavier sits Jay on the top rope and follows up but Jay gets out of it and goes for a sunset flip but Xavier holds on and punches Jay but Jay follows back up top, SUPERPLEX!!!! Jay fights back and hits a bridging German suplex for a near fall. Xavier goes for the Kiss Your X Goodbye BUT JAY COUNTERS WITH THE DVD!!! Jay goes up top and hits a big leg drop for a near fall then goes for the Jay Driller but Xavier slips out and kicks Jay in the face, COBRA CLUTCH SUPLEX!!!! KISS YOUR X GOODBYE, 1-2-NO!!!! Jay slips out of the X Breaker, POWERBOMB!!! Jay goes up top as Luscious slides a chair into the ring and she crotches Jay on the top rope as the referee is distracted, X-BREAKER FROM THE TOP ROPE!!!! 1-2-3 AND XAVIER GETS THE WIN AT 20:48 TO RETAIN THE RING OF HONOR TITLE!!!! Luscious celebrates the win with Xavier as Jay lies on the mat a bloody mess.
Crater rating: 7.5 out of 10. This was actual an enjoyable match and much better than the non-title match. I think Xavier should work the WWE style match more often. While true ROH fans wonít like this match because of the slow pace at times and not all of the head dropping moves and such, this was a very good WWE style match and would fit right in as a WWE main event match (the crowd would be much more appreciative too if both guys were over). Xavier was a bastard in this match at times (I loved how he faked the crowd out with the spine kick spot) and this was his best match in ROH at this point where he truly looked pretty damn good (that Arabian press was impressive) and that is leading me to believe that Xavier might have dogged his match with Low Ki a little bit. Jay did a good job as the plucky underdog but he couldnít get the crowd fully on his side so by the end, they were just cheering on the big moves and not either man respectively, which hurts this match. Xavier would continue to get better and have much better matches (his title matches with Paul London are heavy examples of how much better he got) while Jay would continue to produce solid work until he and his brother would team up and take the tag team division by storm and now Xavier will meet the winner of the next match at a later show.
Match 10: #1 contenderís trophy: American Dragon vs AJ Styles
ďSelf EsteemĒ hits and American Dragon comes out and tonight can he defeat AJ Styles and earn the #1 contenderís trophy? Dragon defeated Paul London earlier in the night to get to this point while AJ has had all night to rest since he earned this spot without wrestling tonight. AJ Stylesí music hits and he comes out and tonight can he become the #1 contender? This is the first time these two have met in ROH.
They follow the code to start and they lock hands and AJ takes Dragon down but Dragon kicks him away and they lock up with Dragon grabbing a front face lock and Dragon grabs a waist lock but AJ sits out and they do some nifty escaping sequences that instantly gets the crowd into the match and they finally stop and get standing ovations. AJ takes Dragon down but Dragon grabs gets on top but AJ floats over but Dragon rolls into the ropes to escape. Both men knuckle up and Dragon backs AJ to the corner and breaks clean and Dragon grabs a waist lock then floats over into a headlock but AJ shoves him off and Dragon explodes out with a shoulder tackle then goes to work with a front guillotine but AJ puts him on the mat. AJ grinds his forearm into Dragonís face and both men are trying to gain the advantage with AJ still staying on top but Dragon slips out and goes back to the front face lock to more claps but AJ pulls Dragon down into a pin for a near fall and Dragon grabs a headlock but AJ shoves him off and does a leapfrog and Dragon goes for a leapfrog but AJ dropkicks him for a near fall. Dragon drop toeholds AJ all the way to the floor but AJ avoids a baseball slide but Dragon BLASTS him with a European uppercut then tries to whip AJ into the guardrail BUT AJ JUMPS OVER THE GUARDRAIL AND SUPER KICKS DRAGON!!!! AJ drops him on the guardrail then kicks him in the chest then rolls him in and covers for a near fall. AJ hits a backbreaker and twists him instantly into a gutbuster and AJ knocks Dragon down with some forearm shots for a near fall. Both men knuckle up but Dragon monkey flips him and they roll through and AJ monkey flips Dragon but they are back up and Dragon starts headbutting AJ but AJ blocks with a forearm but Dragon twists around on the mat and kicks AJ right in the bicep, ouch! Dragon stomps on the arm then grinds his foot into AJís shoulder then knee drops the arm then tries to ground AJ but AJ tries to block and both are up and they trade chops but Dragon takes him out with a modified suplex for a near fall. Dragon bends the arm over the top rope and starts headbutting it then hits a VICIOUS European uppercut but AJ hits a springboard sunset flip for a near fall but Dragon stays on top with stomps to the arm and body. AJ counters another suplex with the DDT and he rolls on top with a front guillotine but Dragon is up and counters to a hammerlock but AJ gets out and goes for the Quebrada DDT (or Phenom DDT) but Dragon catches him AND HITS A NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX FOR A NEAR FALL!!!! Dragon fires some stiff European uppercuts that sends AJ to the apron and Dragon is busted open legit, BRAINBUSTER BY AJ!!!! MUTA LOCK BY AJ THEN HE TURNS ONTO HIS STOMACH TO MAKE IT WORSE BUT AJ BREAKS THE HOLD!!!! They are still locked up in their legs AND BOTH MEN FIGHT FOR CONTROL WITH CHIN LOCKS BUT THE REFEREE CALLS FOR A STALEMATE TO BREAK IT UP!!!! SUPLEX INTO A NECKBREAKER BY AJ FOR A NEAR FALL!!! Dragon blocks a wheelbarrow move and catches AJ in a full nelson but AJ breaks the hands, BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX BY DRAGON FOR A NEAR FALL!!!! JUDO DDT!!!! Dragon goes up top, SWANDIVE HEADBUTT!!!! 1-2-NO!!!
AJ ducks a clothesline and hits a huge spin kick to the head as we get a close up of Dragonís swollen eye, GERMAN SUPLEX THEN A WHEELBARROW FACEBUSTER BY AJ FOR A NEAR FALL!!!!! AJ goes up top but Dragon crotches him on the top rope and follows up, SICK TOP ROPE BACK SUPLEX (AJ landed on his face!!)!!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!! The fans agree with me. HEREíS THE COVER, 1-2-FOOT ON THE ROPES!!! Both men trade some vicious blows then slaps then both men duck discus forearms then both men collide on spinning clotheslines! The fans are chanting for both men to get up and they trade chops on their knees but Dragon rakes at AJís face then Dragon beats the shut out of AJ in the corner, damn!! Dragon whips AJ to the corner but AJ gets an elbow up, PHENOM DDT!!!! 1-2-NO!!!! STYLES CLASH!!!!! 1-2-THR-NO!!!! AJ covers again but gets another near fall and Dragon with a go behind, DRAGON SUPLEX!!!!! 1-2-NO!!!! CATTLE MUTILATION!!!!!! Dragon floats over and turns AJ over into a pin, 1-2-NO!!!! Dragon goes up top but AJ meets him up top with forearms and stiff punches but Dragon shoves him down again so AJ crotches him and pulls him into the Styles Clash position and starts ramming Dragon head first into the turnbuckles pads so AJ powerbombs him twice, STYLES CLASH AGAIN!!!! 1-2-3 AND AJ STYLES GETS THE WIN AT 22:32 TO BECOME THE HOLDER OF THE #1 CONTENDERíS TROPHY FOR THE ROH TITLE!!!! Both men are down and hurting but AJ gets to his feet first and he checks on Dragon and he helps Dragon up with the referee and both men hug each other but Dragon takes the trophy away from the referee and he hands it to AJ himself then raises his hand to show some class and they finally call Dragon by his real name, Bryan Danielson.
Crater rating: 9.5 out of 10. This was a spectacular match between these two gifted athletes and itís a MOTYC. Well, ROH has another MOTYC on their hands. This would have to be the #5 best match so far (behind the four way for the title at Crowning a Champion, Dragon/Ki at RRC, the three way dance from The Era of Honor Begins and AJ/Ki from Honor Invades Boston) and that says a lot considering Dragon already wrestled earlier in the night. The mat work these two were doing was damn near perfect and the hard hitting strikes these two dished were unbelievable (with AJ busting Dragon open) and the final couple of minutes had the fans wondering who was gonna win (that flurry at the end by AJ was awesome). These two proved to be so evenly matched that it turned into more of a ďwho was gonna get the knock out shot firstĒ and these two did not hold back on the stiff blows. I like some of the little inside battles that these two had: Dragon countering the Phenom DDT with a Northern lights suplex, AJ breaking the Dragon suplex then Dragon hits him with a bridging German suplex, both men having their legs locked and fighting over chin locks, AJís awesome flurry at the end to defeat Dragon. Both men would battle again in 2003 where they would have another (no pun intended) phenomenal match and it would also be another MOTYC. Dragon continues to have an awesome year and the fact that heís right up there with Low Ki as far as big time matches in ROH has been and he would continue to only get better. He would take a hiatus from ROH in 2003 to continue to learn the craft (this is why this guy is so awesome, heís constantly learning new styles) overseas but come back and become a big time player again but he wouldnít win the title until 2005. AJ, on the other hand, was impressing both in ROH and TNA and go on to have a major year in 2003 by winning the NWA-TNA title and continuing to putting on a slew of awesome matches on ROH so both of these guys were far from done in putting on amazing matches and this was just another one of them.
The Prophecy attack Danielson when he walks to the back then they go after AJ in the ring but AJ starts taking them out with clotheslines but Xavier takes him out with a clothesline and they gang up on AJ and the champion pounds away on AJ and talks trash but Jay Briscoe, still bloody, slides in to help as does Danielson and the faces clean house and send the Prophecy running off.
Main Event: Special Attraction Zero-1 Tag team match: Steve Corino w/Samoa Joe & Low Ki vs Masato Tanaka & Shinjiro Ohtoni
Steve Corinoís music hits and he comes out with Samoa Joe and tonight can he and Low Ki defeat Masato Tanaka & Shinjiro Ohtoni? Corino is the top gaijin in Z-1 and Samoa Joe is also a Z-1 athlete as well. Low Kiís music hits and he comes out, wearing tights, and tonight can he and Steve Corino defeat Masato Tanaka & Shinjiro Ohtoni? Low Ki was on the losing team of the 6 man tag team match from earlier in the night so heís already wrestled a 25 minute match. Some music hits and Masato Tanaka & Shinjiro Ohtoni come out and tonight can they defeat Steve Corino & Low Ki? Ohtoni used to be one of NJPWís top juniors back in the day but he became a heavyweight to change things up. Tanaka is most famous for his slew of great matches against Mike Awesome over the ECW title (and also in FMW).
The fans love Ohtoni early, chanting his name, and everybody follows the code as the fans chant for Tanaka and itís Tanaka starting with Ki and they tie up and Tanaka with a go behind, standing switch by Ki, but Tanaka works the arm but Ki rolls forward, bridges up and kicks Tanaka in the face, nice. Both men jockey for waist locks but Tanaka ducks an early kick and avoids more strikes, SCOOP POWERBOMB BY TANAKA!!!! They tie up and both men apply full nelsons until Ki hits a back suplex then grabs a surfboard on the mat but Tanaka gets to his feet as Ki switches up to an abdominal stretch then Ki starts floating over into more stretches until Tanaka takes him down and grabs a leg lock then tags in Ohtoni and they do a double wishbone. Ohtoni puts Ki in the tree of woe, TWO BASEBALL SLIDES!!! Ohtoni hits a pair of slams then rips at Kiís nose but Corino tags in and he stomps away on Ohtoni and Ohtoni keeps blocking a snapmare so Corino pulls him out of the corner with a front face lock but Ohtoni backs him to the corner and hits some vicious chops then chokes him with his boot. Tag to Tanaka and Ohtoni hits a drop toehold, Tanaka with an elbow drop, Tanaka with a Camel Clutch, SICK SLIDING DROPKICK BY OHTONI!!!!! Tanaka hits a running forearm in the corner (itís the battle of former ECW champs) and Tanaka hits the 10 mounted punches then snapmares him into a chin lock but Ki tags in, RUNNING YAKUZA KICK TO THE NOSE!!!! Ki slams Tanaka and hits a snap elbow drop for a near fall then grabs a headscissors on the mat but Tanaka rolls up Kiís back into a Camel clutch then pulls at Kiís nose then rams him into Ohtoniís boot and Ohtoni gets the tag and he snapmares Ki into a rear choke with a body scissors but Ki gets over to the ropes. Ohtoni continues his assault on Ki with some hard chops but they are pissing Ki off so he fights back with some chops then a European uppercut then tags in Corino and he chokes Ohtoni in the corner. Corino hits a running reverse elbow for a near fall then grabs a cross armbreaker but Ohtoni instantly gets out of it by biting Corinoís fingers, haha, and he starts boot scraping Corinoís face in the corner, RUNNING FACE WASH!!! Ohtoni hits a corner Yakuza kick but Corino avoids the second one and punts Ohtoni in the hamstring. Ki gets the tag and Ki gets back dropped to the apron, HANGING DRAGON CLUTCH!!! Ki wants the Ki Krusher but Ohtoni blocks and Ki wants the Dragon Clutch but Tanaka boots him in the face and Ohtoni avoids the springboard enziguri AND CATCHES KI WITH A LEAPING SPIN KICK TO THE CHOPS!!! Tanaka is tagged in, CAPO KICK!!! Ki whips Tanaka to the corner, TIDAL KRUSH!!!! 1-2-NO!!! Ki whips Tanaka to the corner BUT TANAKA SPEARS KI OUT OF HIS BOOTS!!! STUNNER/DDT COMBO ON KI AND CORINO!!!! OSAKA STREET CUTTER ON KI!!!! Tanaka goes up top, FROG SPLASH!!!! 1-2-NO!!! Ki avoids a running forearm in the corner, KAWADA KICKS!!!! Tag to Corino and he hits a running leg lariat but Tanaka forearms him then clotheslines him. Ohtoni tagged in and he hits a running wheel kick then goes up top, TORNADO DDT FROM OHTONI INTO A TORNADO DDT FROM TANAKA!!!! Corino hits an Exploder suplex, THREE ROLLING SUPLEXES BY CORINO FOR A NEAR FALL!!!! OLD SCHOOL EXPULSION!!!! 1-2-NO!!!! Corino hits a Fishermanís buster for a near fall then holds Ohtoni for Ki BUT OHTONI MOVES AND CORINO EATS THE SPRINGBOARD ENZIGURI!!!! SPRINGBOARD MISSILE DROPKICK BY OHTONI!!!! SPIRAL BOMB, 1-2-3 AND MASATO TANAKA & SHINJIRO OHTONI GET THE WIN AT 15:32!!! Tanaka and Ohtoni celebrate the win and everybody follows the code afterwards.
Crater rating: 8.5 out of 10. This was a fun little exhibition match between these four guys and a great way to end the show. Man that was fun to watch. Sure, this match had about zero psychology and was just an exhibition match the entire way through, but it was pretty damn fun. I had never seen Ohtoni wrestle before but he was pretty damn cool and Iíve seen Tanaka and watched one of his brutal battles with Mike Awesome (from ECW One Night Stand 2005) so I knew what to expect from Tanaka but Ohtoni pretty much stole the show. Corino was a dick to make Ki work almost this whole match since he hasnít done jack shit all night and Ki wrestled a 25 minute match earlier so Corino should have taken some of the work load but it seemed like Ki carried the brunt of the work while Corino was just good for an ass kicking (which was fun to watch, donít get me wrong). Ki just continues to shoot out awesome match after awesome match and there are still three shows left to go and there is not going to be anybody whoís going to challenge Low Ki for wrestler of the year (at least as far as TNA and WWE are concerned) for 2002. Corino would try to challenge Daniels for top heel and these two would duke it out backstage to prove that they are the top heel and have some battles with their own staples but it would be Corinoís horrendously violent, brutal and bloody feud with Homicide that would earn him a ton of respect. As for Tanaka and Ohtoni, I believe they would be back, just not in 2002 but this was a fun match to watch.
Da Hit Squad are talking and Homicide is scraping a fork against the wall, saying heís sharpening his fork, and Homicide is pissed at Steve Corino and Homicide walks to the locker room with Da Hit Squad following and Homicide stabs Corino with his fork!!! Da Hit Squad get him out of there as Luscious checks on Corino and that closes the show.
According to the rating, ROH All Star Extravaganza 2002 gets a 69, a B, a 7.5 out of 10 and this is a very good show. This is probably ROHís best show of 2002 (I think) and if itís not the best show, it is one of the top shows of the year. We got two matches in the 9ís, some matches in the 8ís and some other good matches and the two matches that were supposed to suck did suck. There was a lot of great things on this show too: CM Punkís first ROH match, Homicide stabbing Corino (which was funny), AJ becoming the #1 contender and Samoa Joe continuing to get way over in ROH. The last three shows wouldnít be as great as this one but they would be solid enough to close out the year but if anything, this was the last great show of 2002 and I recommend this one.