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Rex Plex – Elizabeth, New Jersey – Saturday, December 4, 2004

~Disc One~

Jimmy Bower and CM Punk are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Davey Andrews, Anthony Franco, Shane Hagadorn & Matt Turner vs. Special K

Special K is represented by Angeldust, Deranged, and former Tag Team Champions Izzy and Dixie. They have Cheech, Cloudy, Becky Bayless and Lacey in their corner. There is obvious dissension in the Special K group during the entrance. Andrews and Deranged start the match, but Special K argues about it and Angeldust ends up starting. Angeldust gets the better of an exchange and tags are made. Deranged and Turner go next and Deranged dominates. Hagadorn and Dixie are next up and they do some stuff. Izzy and Franco finally take their turn. Everyone has been in the ring now. Izzy misses a springboard 450 splash and Franco tags Andrews. Special K doesn’t care about tags and they all go after him. The other students jump in the ring as well and it’s a pier six brawl. Dixie takes out Hagadorn with a dive to the floor. After some heel miscommunication Andrews is able to roll up Izzy to get the pin at 4:49. That was not much of a match but at least the action never stopped and it served a purpose in the Special K breakup story.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #2: Jay Lethal vs. Weapon of MASK Destruction

WMD follows the Code of Honor but then attacks Lethal before the bell rings. Lethal quickly fights back with a gutwrench suplex for two. He hits a leg lariat. WMD makes a comeback and catches Lethal in a springboard attempt with a nice powerslam for a two-count. Punk thinks that Weapon of Mask Destruction is too much to say, so he’s going to call him Ghana Mask. Why not WMD? Lethal tries a Dragon Suplex but WMD avoids it and clubs Lethal down for a two-count. WMD continues to work Lethal over. He whips Lethal into the corner but then runs right into a boot. Lethal hits a leaping DDT off the second rope. He’s feeling it now and the hometown crowd is behind him. Lethal misses a diving headbutt and WMD hits a neckbreaker for a near-fall. A series of reversals ends with Lethal hitting the Dragon Suplex to score the pin at 6:38. That was perfectly acceptable wrestling, a good way to continue the story and a good victory for Lethal.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #3: Tag Team Scramble – Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer vs. The Carnage Crew vs. Dunn & Marcos vs. The Outcast Killaz

They show a quick video package of the feud between the Crew and Maff & Whitmer, but don’t include why Dunn & Marcos and the Killaz are being included in this Scramble. Loc and DeVito attack Maff and Whitmer in the aisle, leaving the other two teams to do battle in the ring. Allison Danger stumbles out to watch Maff and Whitmer get beat up. The action is coming from all over the place but it’s mostly coming from the Carnage Crew or Maff and Whitmer. They’re fighting in and out of the ring and the crowd is loving out. DeVito takes everyone out with a moonsault from the top rope. Dunn and Marcos go up top and hit the simultaneous Stage Dive, sort of. Maff and Whitmer then hit simultaneous suicide dives to wipe everyone out. The brawling continues and it’s a bit hard to follow. Maff & Whitmer and the Carnage Crew fight through the crowd as ringside cannot contain them. Meanwhile Dunn and Marcos control the Killaz in the ring. The Killaz and the RCE trade momentum back and forth but it’s Oman Tortuga and Diablo Santiago that are able to isolate Marcos and hit him with the dropkick / half nelson suplex combination to get the huge upset win at 9:22. That was pretty much non-stop action, and even though half the guys in the match were an afterthought it was still pretty fun all in all.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #4: ROH Pure Title Match – John Walters vs. Jimmy Rave

Walters has been the Champion since 8.28.04, and this is his fourth defense. Rave has Prince Nana and The Outcast Killaz with him, but Todd Sinclair sends them to the back before the match can even begin. That’s probably a smart move. They chain wrestle int eh early going and tease throwing punches but that is against the rules so they hold off. Walters goes after the leg and locks on a unique submission hold that causes Rave to use his first rope break. Back in the ring Rave suckers Walters into punching him, and that’s a warning against the Pure Champion. Any further punches will cost Walters a rope break. Rave then tricks the referee into thinking that Walters punched him when he really didn’t, so Walters loses his first rope break. The chain wrestling resumes and Walters goes after the arm now. Rave does the same. He also repositions the referee and hits a closed fist behind his back. Rave takes control and the match spills to the floor, where Rave slams Walters’ head into the steel guardrail. Back in the ring Rave covers for two. Walters comes back and tries a series of pinning combinations and gets near-falls. He then levels Rave with a hard clothesline. Walters hits a missile dropkick and covers, and Rave uses anther rope break. Rave misses a charge in the corner and Walters pulls him down with a lungblower for two. Rave comes back with the Crossface and Walters is forced to use another rope break. The challenger presses the advantage and hits the Shining Wizard for two. Rave goes for the Rave Clash but Walters counters into a Sharpshooter, which Rave reverses to a Boston Crab. Walters counters right back to his own Boston Crab. Rave uses his third and final rope break. Walters immediately ties Rave up in the ropes in a kind of torture rack move. Rave escapes and hits Ghanarrhea for two. Walters puts on the Sharpshooter again and Rave rolls to the floor but Walters keeps the hold on. When the referee’s count gets up to about 16 Walters slides back in the ring and Rave gets counted out at 16:50. That was a good technical wrestling match with great heel stuff from Rave and good babyface determination from Walters. They cleverly used the rules of the match and made a countout into a good finish, which is hard to do.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: Austin Aries vs. Low Ki

Ki is accompanied by Julius Smokes. Aries and Ki get in each other’s faces to start. Neither man will be intimidated. They aggressively jockey for position and control of the match, taking it down to the mat. The crowd supports both men even though they are both heels. Things get heated between them pretty quickly, and Ki gets the advantage when it turns into a fight. They roll into the ropes and have to break contact. Back on their feet the chain wrestling continues as both men try to hold their tempers in check. Ki dominates on the mat until Aries is able to escape a headscissors and hit the low dropkick. That sends Ki to the floor and Aries follows him out with the Heat Seeking Missile. They fight around ringside a bit and then trade holds back in the ring. Aries is in control now. He hits the IED for a two-count. Ki fights back and drops Aries chest-first across the top rope. He dropkicks Aries down into the guardrail. Back in the ring Ki dominates and keeps Aries down. Ki hits the Warrior’s Way and the crowd loses their minds. Amazingly Aries is able to kick out of that. Aries traps Ki in a sunset flip for two. Ki cuts him off and unloads with some chops. He goes back to the body scissors he had used before with great success. Aries escapes and tries another sunset flip but Ki blocks it and hits a vicious double stomp for two. Ki goes up top for another double stomp but Aries avoids it. Aries blocks Ki’s Tidal Wave attempt with a dropkick and both men are down. Back on their feet they trade shots. Aries hits the snap side suplex for two. He takes Ki down and hits the Power Drive Elbow for another two-count. Ki catches Aries with an inverted atomic drop but Aries follows right back with a big spinning forearm. Aries snaps Ki’s neck off the top rope a la Randy Savage. He comes back in with the slingshot twisting body pres for two, and then he tries the quebrada but Ki gets his knees up. That gets a two-count. Ki hits a bridging German Suplex for a two-count. He goes up top but Aries knocks him down. Aries hits the Finlay Roll and goes up for the 450 but Ki gets his knees up again. Somehow Aries kicks out at two. We’re down to one minute remaining. Ki goes for the Ki Krusher but Aries counters to the Crucifix Bomb. Time is running out as Aries goes up top and lands the 450 Splash but the time limit expires at 20:00 just before Aries can get the three-count. Aries just hit a 450 splash on his injured ribs but he can’t be bothered to sell the injury at all.

Gary Michael Cappetta comes out and announces that this match will only continue for five more minutes if the fans want it. Since when do the fans get to book? Ki gets on the mic and teases going five more minutes, but then he refuses to go through with it! So who is the number one contender? I’m pretty sure Larry Dallas (as just a fan) is in the audience and gets into a shouting match with Ki on his way back to the locker room. The match was really solid, but Aries could have sold the ribs a little more, and I really don’t like time limit draws where one guy has the other guy covered for a two-count when the bell rings. It’s just really overdone and played out.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #6: ROH Tag Team Title match – Ricky Reyes & Rocky Romero vs. Nigel McGuinness & Chad Collyer

BEER AND WOMEN! Reyes and Romero have been the Champions since 8.7.04, and this is their sixth defense. They also have Julius Smokes in their corner. Collyer and Romero start the match with some chain wrestling. McGuinness and Reyes take their turn, and the challengers appear to have the advantage in the early going. Collyer and Romero are reprising their surprisingly excellent match at Death Before Dishonor 2 Part Two. The challengers have been using their technical expertise and have pretty much been in control since the beginning. Reyes fights back with hard kicks on McGuinness, but McGuinness responds with an enziguiri. That’s new. McGuinness goes into the headstand and Romero tries to knocks him but can’t do it. That gives McGuinness the chance to hit the Mule Kick and the Tower of London for a two-count. McGuinness goes to work on Romero’s arm now, and Reyes immediately jumps in the ring to break a brutal looking submission hold. The Rottweilers use some illegal double-teams to take control of McGuinness while Collyer is arguing with the referee. Even Smokes gets involved, taking cheap shots. The Champs work McGuinness over in their half of the ring for a little while. Finally Collyer gets the hot tag and he starts punching people in the face! McGuinness is able to dump Romero out and Collyer goes for the Texas Cloverleaf on Reyes, but Romero is able to break it up. The referee loses control and forgets who the legal man are. Collyer knocks Reyes to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. McGuinness shows Romero the Artful Dodger but then gets a knee to the face. Romero then locks on a Cross Armbreaker and Collyer breaks it up. Reyes and Collyer battle in the ring now and Reyes locks on a submission that McGuinness has to break. Romero dumps McGuinness to the floor and wipes him out with a Thesz Press off the apron. Reyes and Collyer trade holds and Collyer locks on the Cloverleaf! Smokes gets on the apron and Collyer breaks the hold to knock him down. The distraction allows the Champs to hit the Decapitation Knee Drop to get the win and retain the titles at 16:24. The babyface challengers looked really good in the early going, almost too good. It did set the match off on a weird vibe. For the most part the action was solid but that finish was pretty lazy.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #7: Trent Acid vs. Jerk Jackson

Jerk Jackson is more famously known as Bobby Fish now, and he looks way different. CM Punk and Mark Nulty are on commentary. Acid stalls to start and goes outside the ring to kiss some slutty girl. Jackson takes offense and follows him to the floor. He whips Acid into the guardrail and then sets up a chair to drop him on chest-first. Acid tries to fight back but Jackson cuts him off with a dropkick. Back in the ring Jackson continues going to work. Acid has gotten in almost zero offense. Jackson goes up top but misses a 450 Splash. Acid connects with a Yakuza Kick and then hits the Shovel Driver for the pin at 3:25. Something had to go on first after intermission, might as well have been this.
Rating: *

MATCH #8: Colt Cabana & Jimmy Jacobs w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jack Evans & Roderick Strong w/ Jim Cornette

This is Cabana’s first match since August, when he was injured by Generation Next after a match with Austin Aries so he should have revenge on his mind. Evans and Strong try to stall so Jacobs and Cabana bring them in the hard way. Cabana and Jacobs are on fire in the early going, sending Gen Next to the floor, where Heenan takes cheap shots. Cornette is apoplectic as he regroups with his boys. Jacobs and Strong start the match proper, and Jacobs uses a chain given to him by Heenan. The chain gets passed to Cabana, and he uses it behind the referee’s back as well. Cornette is fuming. Cabana and Evans engage in a dance off, and the crowd prefers the nice young Jewish boy from Chicago. Heenan even shows off some moves. After more shenanigans, Cornette gets in the ring and challenges Heenan to join him. Heenan tricks Cornette into trying an elbow drop, but of course he moves out of the way. Cabana and Jacobs continue to dominate. They use the Bushwhacker Battering Ram just for fun. Cornette herds Strong and Evans together and the tease walking out of the match. They decide against it and we’re back in the ring with Jacobs and Evans going at it. Evans is able to use his absurd agility to finally give Gen Next some advantage. Strong tags in to follow it up. Gen Next isolates Jacobs for a while and keep him away from his partner. After several minutes of abuse Jacobs is able to hit Evans with the reverse Pedigree and make the tag. Cabana is a bayit afire. He hits Evans with the Colt .45 but Strong makes the save. Cabana and Jacobs double-team Evans and then Strong makes the save by taking out Jacobs. Cornette hits Cabana with the tennis racket behind the referee’s back. Heenan gets in the ring and hits Cornette with his own racket. HISTORY! Cabana rolls over and gets the pin at 16:33. That match was absurdly fun and a great way to use Heenan and Cornette. Jacobs and Cabana had great chemistry as teammates and opponents, and Strong and Evans were of course amazing and willing to show their asses.
Rating: ***½

~Disc Two~

MATCH #9: Bryan Danielson vs. Homicide

Homicide is accompanied by Julius Smokes. Danielson is accompanied by his Jedi Cloak. Both men are ready to fight but the referee is able to calm things down enough to get both men in a neutral corner before calling for the bell. Now that they have calmed down, both guys try to psyche each other out in the early going. Danielson takes it to the mat, and he should have the advantage there. He uses a headlock to keep Homicide grounded. Nulty says a wrestling match benefits Homicide, which is asinine, and that Homicide is a better wrestler than he is a brawler, even though that is a “counter culture” thing to say. What is wrong with that man’s brain? Danielson continues to control the action and Homicide takes a powder. Back in the ring things get heated and Homicide spits in Danielson’s face. That just makes Danielson angry and he assaults Homicide with strikes. Homicide fights back but Danielson weathers the storm and sends Homicide to the floor. Back inside Danielson goes to work on the arm. Homicide pokes the eyes and takes the fight back to the floor. Danielson throws Homicide so hard into a guardrail that it actually snaps. Smokes distracts Danielson, allowing Homicide to strike. Homicide suplexes Danielson onto a table. Back in the ring Homicide covers for two. Homicide’s ankle is very badly injured from Danielson’s earlier assault. They continue to go back and forth, as Danielson is so aggressive that he won’t stay on defense very long. Danielson uses the Mexican Surfboard and the Airplane Spin, two of his signature moves. He goes up top for the diving headbutt, but instead decides to wipe out Julius Smokes and finally shut him up. Homicide hits an Ace Crusher for a two-count. He hits a t-bone suplex and tries to bridge but can’t hold it. Homicide goes up top and Danielson joins him to hit a superplex. Danielson goes up top again and misses the diving headbutt. Homicide goes up top and hits the headbutt for two. Smokes is already not selling taking the dive from Danielson about two minutes ago. Danielson puts on Cattle Mutilation and Smokes distracts Danielson into breaking the hold. Homicide tries a super hurricanrana but Danielson blocks it and hits a diving European Uppercut from the second rope for a near-fall. Danielson goes back to the ankle and Homicide removes his boot to take pressure off the ankle. For some reason the referee stops Danielson from attacking while this is happening. Smokes distracts the referee and Homicide decks Danielson with his boot for a two-count. Homicide goes for Da Cop Killa but Danielson avoids it. The referee gets repositioned and Homicide hits a low blow. Homicide tries the Lariat but Danielson blocks it and turns it into the Cattle Mutilation cradle for the pin at 25:28. I was surprised at how much Danielson dominated that match, since they were about to set up a Best of Five feud. It probably made the match better, but it was still a little too long for what they were going for and for the finish they used. I do appreciate that they pointed out how different it was than their Reborn Stage One match.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #10: ROH World Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk

Before the wrestlers are introduced, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat cuts a promo about his feud with Mick Foley and how excited he is to see this sure to be classic wrestling match. He’ll be watching ringside.

Joe has been the champion since 3.22.03 and this is his twenty-ninth defense. They are cautious early on, anticipating that they could be here for a while. Punk tries an early headlock but Joe is sick of that. Joe continually avoids the headlock and a frustrated Punk takes a powder. Back in the ring they challenge each other to chop contest and Punk wisely ducks and gets a quick backslide for two, and now Punk gets the headlock on. That was awesome. Punk viciously attacks Joe’s neck, wearing the champion down. Joe comes back with some chops and a headbutt. Nulty is a little too animated in his commentary here; it’s very distracting. Punk comes back with a springboard dropkick to the back for just a one-count. He tries to keep Joe grounded but that’s easier said than done. Joe tries the STJoe but Punk counters it and they trade pinning combinations. Punk goes right back to the headlock. Joe powers up and forces Punk into the corner, and then unleashes a series of strikes. Punk fights back with strikes and takes Joe right off his feet. Nulty is losing his mind here. Joe comes back with a series of knee strikes to the head. He blasts Punk with a kick to the face, sending him to the floor. Punk has been busted open. Back in the ring Joe wisely targets the cut on Punk’s head. Joe hits the Big Joe Combo for two. The champion is dominant here, keeping Punk down and working on his bloody head. Punk takes a quick powder and Joe waits for him. Joe is totally dominant here, cutting off a Punk comeback attempt and knocking him to the floor again. The champ follows him out with the elbow suicida.

Joe then nails Punk with the Ole Kick. He goes for another one but Punk cuts him off and goes up to the apron for a dropkick! Punk hangs Joe off the apron and hits a knee drop off the top rope, right to the back of the neck. Back in the ring Punk hits a high cross body block off the top rope for two. Punk tries to take Joe down with clotheslines and then sticks him with a tornado DDT for two. He goes for the Shining Wizard but Joe catches him with the snap powerslam for two. Joe then tries a Cross Armbreaker but Punk rolls that into a cradle for two. The champ hits the powerbomb and awkwardly turns it into the modified STF. Joe is doing awesome stuff like using the ropes and grabbing Punk’s hair because he’s desperate to retain the title. Punk comes back with the leg-hook DDT for two, and then locks on the Anaconda Vise (not called as such). Joe gets to the ropes. Punk hits the Pepsi Twist and follows up with a sick moonsault but Joe kicks out at two! Punk goes up top and Joe is actually able to hit him with a rana! Joe then hits a vicious lariat but Punk kicks out at two! He goes for a Samoan Drop but Punk knees his way out of it and hits a mule kick and the Shining Wizard! Joe kicks out at two! Punk tries another Pepsi Twist but Joe blocks it and locks on a sleeper! The referee thinks that Punk’s arm dropped for a third time, but Ricky Steamboat keeps the timekeeper from ringing the bell because Punk isn’t actually out yet. Punk tries to break it with two jawbreakers but Joe won’t let go! He tries the Bret Hart pin but Joe is able to kick out at two. Punk rolls out a series of flash pins but can’t keep Joe down. Joe tries a backdrop driver but Punk falls on top for two. Back on their feet they exchange forearms. Joe scoops Punk’s legs in the corner and puts his own on the ropes for leverage. The crowd boos, surprised at Joe’s lack of honor. Punk looks for the reverse Pepsi Plunge but Joe knocks him down and misses a splash. Joe’s knee made contact with Punk’s face though. Punk tries an O’Connor Roll but Joe rolls it into the Choke. Not satisfied with just that, Joe hits a German Suplex and a Dragon Suplex before really cinching in the Choke and Punk is out at 31:29.

I think the crowd was surprised since this match went about half the length of the other two. Outside of the small Steamboat involvement that was quite unnecessary this was an amazing match, playing off the other two matches and adding some new wrinkles. Both men looked like they were legit trying to beat the other guy, which is the ultimate goal in wrestling anyway, to make the audience believe. It’s not quite as good as Chicago but it’s really close.
Rating: ****¾

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