GBH1

Murphy Recreation Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Saturday, October 5, 2002

Jeff Gorman and Chris Lovey are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Tag Team Scramble – Divine Storm vs. Homicide The SAT vs. Special K

Izzy and Dixie are representing Special K tonight, with Elax in their corner. Divine Storm is Chris Divine and Quiet Storm, and the SAT is the brothers Joel and Jose Maximo. Homicide is Homicide. He’s wrestling solo tonight because at Unscripted last month the Carnage Crew injured his Natural Born Sinner partner Boogalou. Everyone goes after Special K and Divine bodyslams Elax to keep him down for a Trinity moonsault. Trinity then carries Elax to the back to make this a fair match.

Izzy and Joel start the match proper and I don’t expect it will remain one-on-one for very long. They have a nice little back and forth and then Jose and Storm tag in. These two engage in a very contrived looking sequence and tumble to the floor. Homicide and Divine take their places in the ring. The match breaks down and the SAT traps Dixie in the Taffy Machine. Everyone ends up on the floor, and Izzy and Joel are the first to get back in the ring. They stand up on the top rope and Joel clotheslines Izzy down to the mat. That’s actually a pretty cool spot. Joel hits the Maximo Explosion for at two-count. Dixie comes in with a floating DDT. Joel rolls to the floor and Divine rolls in. Homicide and Storm battle next, and then Homicide hits the Tope Con Hilo onto a bunch of guys on the floor. Storm hits the next dive, followed by Dixie. Everybody gets back in the ring for a super duper (and dangerous) Tower of Doom spot. Moments later Divine hits Dixie with a dragon superplex. More spots happen and we’re left with Izzy and Homicide in the ring. Izzy misses a moonsault and Homicide hits him with an Alabama Slam. Homicide follows up with the Cop Killa and then locks Dixie in the STF for the win at 13:53. Scrambles were fun and different at the time but they’re not the kind of match that ages well.
Rating: *¼

The Backseat Boyz come into the ring from out of nowhere to a loud “CZW” chant. Trent Acid gets on the mic to announce that ROH and CZW are going to be working together. He proclaims the Backseats the best tag team in the world. He challenges Homicide to a tag team match since he just won that scramble. Homicide agrees and asks for a partner from the locker room, and Steve Corino answers the call.

MATCH #2: Homicide & Steve Corino vs. The Backseat Boyz

The Code of Honor is followed in this inter-promotional match. Corino and Homicide take cheap shots to start the match and it turns into a brawl between all four men. Homicide hits Acid with a Super Ace Crusher to send him to the floor, leaving Corino and Johnny Kashmere in the ring. Kashmere hits a couple of satellite headscissors on Corino, and then Acid joins him for some double-team moves on the King of Old School. Outside the ring Homicide drop toeholds Acid into a chair and then kicks the chair back into his head. Meanwhile back in the ring Corino hits a suplex. Homicide hits Acid with a Tope Con Hilo. Kashmere looks to go for a dive but Corino cuts him off with a superkick and a Northern Lights Bomb for a two-count. Corino hits Acid with the face wash. Kashmere comes back with a Spear on Corino, and then one for Homicide as well. Corino locks Kashmere in the Cobra Clutch. Acid breaks it up with a Yakuza Kick for a two-count. Homicide goes for the Cop Killa on Acid, but it gets blocked to a Blue Thunder Driver. I think it’s funny how Lovey keeps saying this may be the only time we get to see Ring of Honor versus CZW. The Backseats bit Corino with the Dream Sequences and Homicide breaks up the pin. Acid goes up top and Corino takes him down with a super fisherman buster and Homicide follows with a Superfly Splash. Homicide covers but Corino pushes him off and goes for the cover himself but Kashmere breaks it up. Then Homicide accidentally hits Corino and then goes for a Cop Killa. Corino doesn’t take kindly to getting hit and nails Homicide with a superkick. The Backseats then hit Homicide with the T-Gimmick to get the pin at 6:44. That was all just brawling with no tags or any real story. It did kick off the Homicide versus Corino feud that would carry on to 2006 though.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Joey Matthews, Christian York & Alexis Laree vs. The Christopher Street Connection & Allison Danger

The CSC is made of up Buff E and Mace. They’re accompanied by the Japanese Pool Boy. The match starts with a triple goose. That of course sets off a big brawl, with Matthews, York and Laree taking control. Pool Boy interferes from the floor to give the CSC the advantage. Buff E and Mace work Matthews over in their half of the ring. After several minutes of abuse Matthews makes the tag to his girlfriend Laree and she fights both Buff E and Mace off with some awkward offense while Lovey fawns all over her. Matthews goes to the top rope and Pool Boy shoves him to the floor. Danger takes some cheap shots on Laree and then runs from her. Buff E and Mace hit Laree with the Gay Basher and Danger gets the cover for the victory at 4:48. The CSC leaves Japanese Pool Boy to get beaten up by Matthews and York. They did as much as they could for five minutes.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #4: Tony Mamaluke vs. James Maritato

This match is for the rights to the FBI gimmick. I hate wrestling angles that acknowledge they’re just doing gimmicks. Mamaluke attacks Maritato when his back is turned. They take it down to the mat and exchange holds and counters. Maritato is wrestling with his t-shirt on for some reason. The mat wrestling continues, with Mamaluke focusing on the knee and Maritato going after the arm. Mamaluke hits a double-arm DDT and rolls it into a front chancery. Maritato fights his way out and hits the Sicilian Slice for a two-count. He goes up again and hits a missile dropkick for another two-count. He tries the Kiss of Death and they blow it but Lovey covers up for him. It still gets a two-count. They go back up top and Mamaluke is able to hit a superplex and lock Maritato in the Front Chancery for the win at 8:30. I’m not a big fan of either guy, but at least they went for a different style by wrestling almost the entire match on the mat. Maritato would be with WWE before the end of the year.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Ikuto Hidaka vs. Amazing Red

Both men get plenty of support from the crowd. They wrestle to a standoff, both men showing off their athleticism early on. Hidaka gets the first shot in with a dropkick to the back of the head. Lovey says that the team of Hidaka and Dick Togo will be back with ROH sometime in 2003, but he’s a liar! Meanwhile Hidaka and Red trade chops and then take the battle to the floor for some more chops. They agree to get back in the ring out of respect, and the crowd courtesy pops. They wrestle to a standoff once again, showing how evenly matched they are. Red hits a swinging DDT and Hidaka slides to the floor. He tries a slingshot dive but Hidaka dropkicks him out of the air. Back in the ring Hidaka takes control. Red tries to fight back but Hidaka cuts him right off with a DDT. Hidaka goes to the apron and tries a slingshot but Red kicks him to the floor. Red goes for a suicide dive to the floor and he barely makes contact, hitting the guardrail instead. Hidaka sells it anyway. Back in the ring Red locks on a Cross Armbreaker and Hidaka reaches the ropes. Red misses the Red Star Press but connects on a roundhouse kick. He charges into the corner but Hidaka avoids him and throws him up into the air for a dropkick. Red tries another DDT but Hidaka counters with a “falling spinning legbreaker.” Hidaka hits the knee with a springboard missile dropkick and a German Suplex, floating over into a leg lock. Red reaches the ropes and then hits an enziguiri. They do the fish out of water spot and of course no one gets a pin. They up the ante for an even more impressive series of reversals but still no one gets the pin. They each clothesline each other and both men are down. Back on their feet Hidaka catches Red with an Ace Crusher for two. Red comes back with a 718 to the midsection and hits a sunset bomb for two. He goes up top and hits the Infrared and the Red Star Press to get the win at 13:42. A close-up shows that Red really nailed Hidaka in the face with the Infrared. That’s a fun match and a definite product of its time.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #6: ETW Television Title Match – Fast Eddie vs. Don Juan

They start with some basic chain wrestling, with champion Eddie taking control. Juan avoids a charge in the corner as Lovey tells us that Eddie is legally blind! Anyway Juan drops Eddie’s neck on his knee from the second rope for a two-count. Eddie comes back with a release German Suplex for two. Juan fights back with a sloppy satellite headscissors and a hard forearm knockdown. He charges but Eddie moves and Juan crashes to the floor. Eddie follows him out with an Asai (which Lovey can’t pronounce) Moonsault. Back in the ring Eddie tries a springboard but Juan knocks him down on the top rope and hits an Ace Crusher for two. Juan goes up top and Eddie knocks him out with a flip knee to the face. Eddie then hits the Super Fallaway Slam to retain the title at 3:23. They drove 26 hours one way to wrestle three minutes? Michael Shane and Biohazard come out to destroy Juan and Eddie. The match was fine for the time it got I guess.
Rating: *½

Steve Corino comes out to taunt Rudy Boy. I don’t remember the exact origins of this feud, but I just know I do not want to see Rudy Boy wrestle. Rudy Boy hits Corino with the microphone to unofficially start the match.

MATCH #7: Texas Death Match – Steve Corino vs. Rudy Boy Gonzalez

Despite my wishes, here we go. Rudy Boy takes the early control due to the microphone shot that busted Corino open. He hits a superkick to get an early pin but Corino has until 10 to get back to his feet. Of course Corino gets back up and they take it to the floor. Corino takes the advantage and slams a chair across Rudy Boy’s back. They make it back to the ring and Corino continues the beat-down. Then they go back to the floor for more brawling. They go back in the ring and this match goes on. Corino locks Rudy Boy in a Cobra Sleeper to knock him out. The bell rings but the match isn’t over until there’s a 10-count. Speaking of that 10-count, there it is at 8:05. That wasn’t the slightest bit interesting or exciting.
Rating: ¼*

Corino offers a handshake but Rudy Boy refuses, so Corino, Shane, and Biohazard beat him down some more. Paul London comes out with a ladder to make the save. The Group leaves but London runs up the ladder and dives onto all of them, looking like he took a nasty bump on the guardrail.

MATCH #8: Fight Without Honor – Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki

This is Joe’s ROH debut and a bit of a legendary match in Ring of Honor. It’s also the first Fight Without Honor. Joe is the hired assassin of Christopher Daniels and the Prophecy here, and Ki is coming off dropping the ROH Title to Xavier on the last show. Both men are cautious early on, going for some light strikes. They take it down to the mat and continue striking each other. The camera man is right there on top of the action. Joe goes after Ki’s ankle, locking on a half crab variation. Ki tries to chop his way out of a hold and Joe looks annoyed so he slaps him. They get back to their feet and trade strikes. Joe hits several big kicks to the chest to take Ki down. He misses a big boot in the corner and Ki unloads on him, landing a roundhouse kick to the head. Ki hits the Koppo Kick for a one-count. He hits Joe with some more strikes and Joe absorbs them and comes back with a big lariat. Joe hits some kicks to the chest and a vertical suplex for a one-count. He locks on a Cross Armbreaker and then rolls it over into a Crossface. Ki powers up but Joe cuts him off with chops and an enziguiri. Joe hits a German Suplex and hangs on, going for a Dragon Suplex. Ki breaks out of that and locks on an arm submission I don’t know the name for. Joe slips out but he’s hurt, and Ki capitalizes with chops and kicks. Ki drops Joe with an enziguiri for a two-count. He continues to strike at Joe, who comes back with slaps to the face. Ki responds in kind and then hits another enziguiri to knock Joe down. These guys are crazy. Joe whips Ki into the corner and hits a Drive By, and then the Face Wash. He hits the powerbomb for two and then rolls it into the STF, which he turns into a Crossface. Ki reverses it to a Cross Armbreaker and Joe gets the ropes. He locks on another submission hold, which Joe strikes his way out of. Ki hits a Back Drop Driver, dropping Joe right on his head for a two-count. He goes for the Dragon Clutch but Joe powers his way out of it and hits a Death Valley Driver! Joe hits an Island Driver for a two-count when Ki gets his foot on the ropes. Ki blocks a headbutt and kicks Joe in the back of the head. He snap mares Joe down and kicks him across the back. Joe just gets angry and gets back up to slap Ki in the face. He returns the favor, and Ki rises. They take off the wrist tape and pull down their knee pads. They knock the crap out of each other and Joe wins the battle with a lariat. Ki responds with Kawada Kicks and knee strikes. He lands a couple of elbows to the back of the head and finally Joe is down for the pin at 16:27. That match was a huge deal at the time because it was so different from anything that we were seeing on TV. It’s still fun to watch today, and it really bums me out that ROH never pulled the trigger on a one-on-one rematch, especially when Joe was the champion.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #9: Prince Nana vs. Elax

I think it was wise to let the crowd cool down after that last match. Nana dominates, squashing Elax in the corner and then hitting the flying ass. He hits a senton and then loads up his crown for a headbutt. He finishes up with a double underhook DDT for the win at 0:57.
Rating: DUD

After the match Dunn & Marcos come out to talk about how they’re the best team in Ring of Honor, and a large, mysterious man comes out of the crowd and decimates the Ring Crew Express.

MATCH #10: Xavier vs. Jay Briscoe

Xavier is the ROH Champion, but the title is not on the line here. Simply Luscious handles the introduction for the champion. They take it down to the mat and trade holds. It’s funny to watch Jay wrestle such a technical style. Jay focuses on the arm and keeps the champion a bit off guard. He hits a back elbow, a double stomp, and a senton. He lands a big boot to the face for a two-count. Xavier fights back with a solid clothesline. Now the champion is firmly in control, hitting a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. He hits a superkick for another two-count. A Torture Rack Samoan Drop gets another two-count, and then he chokes Jay. Moments later Jay fights back with a hard Death Valley Driver. Jay clotheslines Xavier to the floor and tries to follow him out with a leap off the top rope, but Xavier moves and Jay crashes into the guardrail. Xavier whips him into the guardrails and then rolls him back in the ring. He sets Jay on the top rope and hits an inverted DDT for a two-count. Moments later Jay fights back with a German Suplex with a bridge for a two-count. Both men are down now. They rise to their feet and trade chops and forearms. Jay takes the advantage and hits a seated gourdbuster. He goes up top for a guillotine legdrop but it only gets two. Then he goes for the Jay Driller but Xavier blocks it and locks on a Cobra Clutch and turns it into a suplex but Jay kicks out! The match is clipped to Jay trying a Jay Driller but Xavier reverses it to a powerbomb. When Xavier tries another powerbomb Jay reverses it to the Jay Driller to get the important victory at 13:20. Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe come out and punish Jay Briscoe for his victory. The match was okay but Xavier didn’t have much of a personality and neither did Jay at this point. Low Ki and Doug Williams come out to make the save.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #11: Falls Count Anywhere Match – Da Hit Squad vs. The Carnage Crew

This would be a pretty tough battle to pick my least favorite guy amongst these four. I think Monsta Mack is the last outwardly obnoxious. The match, such as it is, is lots of brawling and head drops in the early going. I love hearing Lovey try to justify this garbage. The fight makes its way into the crowd. They hit each other weapons and stuff. Finally after what seems like forever the Carnage Crew hit Mafia with the Carnage Driver through a table to get the win at 6:58. The match was the usual hardcore nonsense between these four.
Rating: ½*

Somewhere backstage, Joey Matthews is on drugs!

MATCH #12: Triple Threat Match – Spanky vs. Michael Shane vs. Paul London

Spanky jumps Shane right at the bell and London quickly gets in on the action with a sort of dropsault. London and Spanky briefly work together before they get annoyed with each other and start fighting. Shane wisely picks his spots and dumps Spanky to the floor, then turns his attention to London. He works London over with clotheslines and a flapjack for a two-count. London comes back with two rolling Northern Lights Suplexes and a Blizzard Suplex for a two-count. He knocks Spanky off the apron, giving Shane the opportunity to reclaim control. Shane hits a neckbreaker for a two-count. He tries to knock Spanky off the apron again but Spanky hits him with a dropkick instead. London jumps off Spanky’s back for a shooting star press on Shane for two. He goes up top and Spanky knocks him to the floor. Spanky goes for a dive but Shane cuts him off with a clothesline. Shane tries to suplex Spanky to the floor but he blocks it and sends Shane to the floor, and then Spanky hits a dive to wipe him out. All three men are on the floor now. They brawl around a bit and then make their way back to the ring. London goes for a Shooting Star Press but Spanky moves and hits him with Sliced Bread #2. Just to be a jerk, Shane superkicks Spanky and takes the pin to eliminate London at 9:20.

Now we’re down to Spanky versus Michael Shane. They take it to the floor and Shane throws Spanky into the guardrail and generally abuses him. Back in the ring Shane sends Spanky back to the floor in short order. Shane is firmly in control on the floor. He charges but Spanky ducks and backdrops him into the crowd. Back in the ring Spanky goes up to the top rope but Shane catches him out of the air with a dropkick. Shane locks on a sleeper, which Spanky reverses, but then Shane back suplexes him. He goes for another sleeper but Spanky counters to Sliced Bread #2, but Shane pushes out of it and hits a Northern Lariat. He goes up to the second rope and hits an elbow drop for two. He goes for a German Suplex but Spanky slips out and his Sliced Bread #2 but he can’t cover right away so Shane kicks out. Spanky hits Shane with a hard forearm and both men are down. Shane rakes the eyes but Spanky comes back with a springboard missile dropkick. Spanky hits a knee to the face and an enziguiri for a two-count. He hits a Northern Lights Bomb and then a beautiful Frog Splash but it only gets two. He goes for Sliced Bread #2 but Shane blocks it and hits a floating DDT for two. Spanky gets a quick backslide for two and then goes for another Sliced Bread #2 but Shane blocks it and hits a superkick. Shane goes up top and hits the Picture Perfect Elbow to get the win at 19:27. I’m a big fan of Spanky and London but this match was just kind of sloppy all around.
Rating: **½

MATCH #13: Doug Williams vs. Christopher Daniels

If Daniels wins, Williams can never again shake hands in Ring of Honor. If Williams wins, Daniels will be forced to shake hands. They start off with some back and forth mat and chain wrestling. Both men appear pretty evenly matched from a technical standpoint. Williams attacks the leg early on, while Daniels counters by going after the arm. Daniels takes a powder and when Williams gives chase, Daniels slides back in the ring and Luscious grabs Williams’ leg to distract him. That allows Daniels to suplex Williams back in the ring. Daniels is firmly in control now, keeping Williams on the mat. Williams comes back with a backslide out of nowhere for a two-count. He then tries the Chaos Theory but Daniels blocks it and hits a Stunner. Daniels hits a Flatliner for a two-count. Williams comes back with a forearm and tries the Chaos Theory but Daniels counters. He counters back and hit a floating DDT for two. Williams hits the Bomb Scare for a two-count. He hits a spinning Fisherman Buster but Daniels kicks out again. He tries the Chaos Theory for a third time but Daniels counters with an STO. Daniels follows up with a Blue Thunder Bomb for another two-count. He hits the Uranage Slam and the Best Moonsault Ever but Williams kicks out. Williams comes back and catches Daniels with a belly-to-belly suplex. They both rise and trade pinning combinations but neither man can get a three-count. Williams finally hits the Chaos Theory but Daniels is able to grab the bottom rope! Daniels then scoops the legs and puts his feet on the bottom rope for leverage to get the pin at 12:28. After the win Daniels taunts Williams and his inability to shake hands, so Dick Togo and Jay Briscoe come out to run him off. The match was technically solid but also kind of lifeless, especially for a main event.
Rating: **¾

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