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Arena Reports
2/26 ROH in Chicago Ridge, Ill.: "Great night of action once again. I can't thank ROH enough."

Feb 27, 2005 - 11:25:00 AM
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Ring of Honor live event report
February 26, 2005
Chicago Ridge. Ill.
Report by Jason Detrick, Torch correspondent


Chicago continued their impressive string of luck on 02/26, getting their fourth great ROH show in a row. The lineups almost always come together quite well in Chicago. Tonight was no different. I arrived at the Frontier Field House at about 6:00 pm and parked right up against the building. Sitting in my car killing time until the 6:30 door-open time, I noticed Prince Nana was outside, in his full outfit, smoking a cigarette. As if that wasn't weird enough, out came Julius Smokes who proceeded to have a lengthy conversation with him, emoting with his arms passionately. Must've been quite a convo.

As I sat there waiting for the show to start, ring announcer (and legendary manager on the Chicago indy scene and inventor of the Pepsi Plunge) Dave Prazak stepped into the ring. He was wearing a suit, and had his bleached blond hair grown out to the point that he looked like Ric Flair circa 1994 with the short haircut. The crowd was on him ALL NIGHT with "Woo"s and throwing up the 4 horsemen sign at him. Between matches, we would demand that he "Strut!" and chant it over and over. He would tease doing it, but then introduce the next match. It was a great little thing that kept the crowd interested between matches. Anyways, Prazak entered the ring with all the lights still on and approximately 1/8th of the fans in their seats (most of them were getting Heenan's autograph, eating, or buying merchandise) and announced that while the show wouldn't start until 7:40, ROH was giving us a bonus match to help kill time. With that, Allison Danger came out (with her horrible theme song) in actual wrestling gear looking pretty good. Daizee Haze followed, then Lacey, and then Tracey Brooks. This was a "dark match", though ironically, in ROH, dark matches take place when the lights are on, and the rest of the show the lights are off.

Dark Match: Lacey defeated Daizee Haze, Allison Danger, and Traci Brooks when Lacey pinned Allison. I felt so bad for these girls. They are all talented, and they were glorified time killers. This was basically one of those matches that would've usually been thrown in as an "extra" on an ROH DVD. Like Slyk Wagner Brown & April Hunter vs. the Outkast Killas or something. The girls worked hard, but things didn't really click. The crowd was absolutely dead, unsurprisingly. There were some great kicks by Lacey and Daizee continues to impress. It's hard to believe a girl that looks like she weighs less than 70 lbs could look credible in the ring, but she does. The crowd was so quiet you could almost hear the girls calling spots. The best part of the match was when Daizee did a plancha onto Allison and Lacey on the outside, but they caught her, looked at each other, and then just dumped her into the front row onto some lucky guys. She landed right in their laps. Lacey & Allison worked together to take out Traci, but then Lacey pinned Allison.

And then, back to killing time for another half hour.

(1) Fast Eddie Vegas (w/Prince Nana & Jimmy Rave) defeated Matt Sydal with a Tombstone piledriver. Yep, you read that right. Fast Eddie is now "Fast Eddie Vegas". Horrible name, and now a horrible gimmick too. He was doing a new heel gimmick similar to Rick the Model Martel or Scotty Riggs or (insert countless other names here). He kept on yelling things like "I'm so pretty!", and the crowd just groaned and shook their heads in disbelief. Pre-match saw Nana cut a promo on Sydal, and then on CM Punk, saying Jimmy Rave was going to kick his ass later. The crowd was all over this. Very solid opener, similar to Delirious vs. Jay Lethal from 10/16. The crowd was pumped and was brought even further alive by a really nice looking dive from the top rope to the outside by Sydal. Eddie hit his fall away slam/moonsault from the 2nd rope. Great move. In the end, Prince Nana got on the mic and shouted encouragement to Eddie, which led to the finish.

(2) Dunn & Marcos defeated Delirious & Golden Vampire. There has been speculation as to who the Golden Vampire was. In the past in different feds, it has been played by Tracy Smothers, CM Punk, and others. However, there is no way in hell it was either of them. My speculation was that it was Ace Steel, but it wouldn't make much sense to have hometown boy Ace on the card without advertising the hell out of it, so that's out. The word going around is that it was Davey Andrews under the mask. That makes perfect sense to me, so let's go with it. Regardless of who it was, he looked ridiculous. Basically he was dressed in an entirely gold body costume and mask (just like Los Conquistadors in WWE). He had in plastic Halloween vampire teeth in his mouth, then took them out and threw them into the crowd. Needless to say, no one tried to catch them. This was a total comedy match. A funny spot in the beginning saw Delirious twirl Dunn's arm around once, twice, three times, etc, until Dunn's arm kept on going in a wild circular motion. Delirious laughed at him, but then Dunn turned that spinning arm into an air guitar. The crowd erupted as Delirious threw a fit. Delirious is a funny guy, but after a while the gimmick gets old. Golden Vampire was just kinda there. He aped Delirious funny noises and didn't really do anything else other than yell Lucha Rules!. He took the pin fall, as Dunn climbed to the top rope, and Marcos climbed on Dunn's shoulders. Dunn then launched Marcos off of him and Marcos landed on Golden Vampire with a huge senton bomb. Great finish.

(3) Alex Shelley defeated Jack Evans when Evans tapped out to a brutal half Boston crab. Pre-match, Shelley cut a really lame, forced babyface promo. It was cheesy and not at all what made Alex Shelley cool before the face turn. ROH has to be careful not to change his character this drastically. Basically he offered Jack Evans one more chance to leave Generation Next and help right some of their wrongs "because we acted like a bunch of douche-bags". Evans declined by paint brushing Shelley. This was probably the match of the night. A very, very good match. It would have been nice if Jack Evans got some more offense in though. Jack cemented himself as a heel before the match started by teasing break-dancing, but then telling us to go to hell. We didn't take kindly to that. Evans is so amazingly flexible it's ridiculous. I can't even begin to describe some of the funky and incredibly painful looking submissions that Shelley locked onto Evans. Evans looked slightly off on some of his flips, perhaps still suffering from his neck injury from last month. Shelley hit Evans with the Skull-f*ck about 6 times. He followed that up with a sick looking Shell Shock, where Evans landed directly on the top of his head. He got his foot on the rope, and the building was coming unglued at this point. Evans came back and went for the 630 splash. Shelley moved, so Evans did the 630 and then landed on his feet, only to be hit with a lariat! Wow. Rather than go for the Border City Stretch, Shelley locked in a half Boston crab, and then basically laid down on top of Evans and then leaned all the way back to the mat, bringing Evans's foot behind his head. Evans tapped. Great match.

After the match, the lights went out and Personal Jesus started playing. Out came Austin Aries, who proceeded to put a huge beat down on Alex Shelley. This culminated with him putting Alex Shelley's arm in between two chairs (just like they did to put Colt Cabana on the shelf for months). Jack Evans then went to the top rope, and hit the 630 onto the chairs, smashing Alex's arm. The thing is, Jack Evans landed directly on the top of his head on top of the chairs. I swore he HAD to have reinjured his neck. It was incredible looking. But he stood up right away (with his eyes glazed over) and did the GeNext pose. It was incredible. Shelley walked off on his own power holding his arm.

Colt Cabana then came out for a LIVE Good Times, Great Memories talk show. Huge ovation for Colt. He introduced Bobby Heenan as his guest, and Heenan came out and gave a speech that you just knew had to be interrupted. Sure enough, out came Jim Cornette, who was cheered for a brief bit of time, but being the pro he is, he turned the crowd against him almost instantly just by his mannerisms. He brought Maff & Whitmer with him. He basically repeated his lines from All Star Extravaganza II and told Heenan to hurry up and die already so Cornette could finally be considered the greatest manager of all time rather than the 2nd greatest. The crowd got all over him with a "Shut the f--- up" chant, to which Cornette snapped. His face turned bright red and he started screaming all sorts of things. Eventually, he told Maff & Whitmer (who were full fledged heels tonight) to get Heenan, but Cabana scared them off. Cornette said Heenan should find Cabana a partner and they could have a match. Out came Nigel McGuinness and it was on.

(4) Colt Cabana & Nigel McGuinness (w/ Bobby Heenan) defeated ROH Tag Team Champions Dan Maff & B.J. Whitmer (w/Jim Cornette) in a non-title match. This was a total throwback to the old days. Jim Cornette stole the show here. His antics were classic Cornette. Not a lot to describe in this one. Cornette would try to cheat, but would be constantly outsmarted by Heenan. Cabana was hilarious as usual with his in-ring wackiness. He pulled an Eddie Guerrero with a chain, make believing that he was the one that got hit with it. It was well done and so over the top. I don't remember the finish, but it involved Cornettes racket being used on Maff & Whitmer. This match was all about the legend managers. The match itself was nothing special. It was mostly comedy spots with the managers involved. After Cabana & Nigel beat the champs, the crowd chanted "Title Shot". We'll see.

(5) "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson defeated Homicide (w/ Julius Smokes) in a Falls Count Anywhere match with a Back Suplex Cradle. This match was Falls Count Anywhere all right.... About 10% of it was in the ring. It was extremely frustrating to try to see. I followed the two around for most of the match. It felt like a fight in high school, with a gigantic circular crowd slowly moving from place to place and no one being able to see much of what was going on but going "ooh!" anyways. Some of the spots I actually saw were a cattle mutilation on the gym floor which got a near tap. Danielson then tried to turn it into a pin (which he has gotten many victories with before) but Cide kicked out. Homicide went for a Cop Killah (Vertabreaker) on the gym floor which would have killed Danielson, but he got out of it. Later on, Danielson got Cide up in the airplane spin and did 20 revolutions to the left, and then stopped and did 20 more revolutions to the right. Awesome. Julius Smokes began interfering, which ruined the match for me. I'm really getting sick of the increasing interference in Ring of Honor. What is this, WWE? Ugh. Smokes broke up a pin or submission about 4 times. Finally back in the ring, Danielson eventually pinned Homicide with a back suplex with a cradle & bridge for the 1, 2, 3. What I saw of it was great, but I'm sure it will be a lot better to see on the home release than it was live.

(6) Spanky defeated Jimmy Jacobs with the Sliced Bread #2. Both guys were super over, and got the crowd right back into the show after intermission. The problem with this match was that it was billed as "Contra Code vs. Sliced Bread #2", so you knew damn well that the match wasn't going to end until at least one of those moves were hit. Therefore there was no drama behind any of the near falls. Spanky's chest was all messed up from James Gibson's chops the night before. The match didn't really get going until the end. Jimmy Jacobs has the greatest senton bomb ever. It looks so brutal. Jacobs hit all of his trademark moves except the Contra Code, and still couldn't put Spanky away. Spanky countered a Jacobs power move into the Sliced Bread #2 and got the pin. Jacobs took forever before shaking Spanky's hand, but then called Spanky back to the ring and shook his hand again and said "thank you, sir". Spanky did a hilarious little dance before and after his match. He is slowly getting back to being Spanky again, rather than the WWE watered-down Spanky that he still has some of in him unfortunately. I think he's almost got it out of his system though, as his personality is starting to come back.

(7) James Gibson (formerly Jamie Noble) defeated Puma via submission with a guillotine choke. Big pop for Gibson as expected. He was wearing his Dukes of Hazard orange tights that he wore on Smackdown (or more accurately, Velocity) for a while. He came out to some country song that was just so hilariously out of place in ROH from anything we've heard before. It was great. It sounded vaguely like the Dukes of Hazard theme, but it wasn't. The crowd was kind of dead for this one for whatever reason. It was a very slow, methodical mat wrestling match. Puma started laying in some stiff kicks and did some Tiger Mask combinations, but no spinning leg sweep however. Gibson's offense was pretty nondescript. The Tiger Driver got blocked, but he eventually turned it into a sweet looking guillotine choke for the win. The match would've been better if it was longer, but the circumstances prevented that from happening (already was a long show and the crowd was crapping on the match). Gibson still has that toxin in his system known as "WWE New Style" that he's going to have to work himself out of like Spanky is close to doing. But you can tell being in this kind of atmosphere was a huge breath of fresh air for him. He looked really happy.

(8) Jimmy Rave (w/Fast Eddie & Prince Nana) defeated CM Punk (w/ Davey Andrews & Traci Brooks) after interference and a roll-up. ROH had a lot of balls going with a finish like this in Chicago. The fans definitely didn't like the finish, but I think it was more in a hate-the-heels way rather than in a hate-the-bookers way. Punk was incredibly over as always, and Nana & Rave got great heat, though most of the heat for Rave was go-away-heat. Even though ROH has only a tiny fraction of the money WWE has, CM Punk's entrance is among the best in wrestling. Punk now wears actual wrestling trunks (black trunks with yellow stripes on the sides) rather than his trademark shorts. Disappointing, since the shorts were awesome looking, but he doesn't look as out of place and weird with the trunks as I thought he would. You have to think he is doing this in part to help catch WWE's eye. Punk showed great fire and selling the whole match, and Traci worked her ass off on the outside, as did Nana. Rave attacked before the bell from behind and didn't let up. Early on in the match he untied his shoelace and hid it in his hand. He would choke Punk with it, but then put on a chin lock too so the shoelace didn't show and the ref didn't see. Clever. Referee Todd Sinclair was made to look like a real idiot in this match. The whole crowd became frustrated that their hero was getting cheated so blatantly. At one point, to hide the shoelace from the ref (who had been tipped off by Traci), Rave shoved the shoelace in his mouth. The same shoelace that was dragging on the sticky floor and pressed against Punk's sweaty neck. Eww! Rave was choking out Punk for about the 5th time when the bell rang and Punk apparently passed out. The crowd booed and chanted "bullsh*t". The ref finally saw the shoelace in the ring and ordered Nana & Eddie to the back, and also ordered the match to be restarted. However, Nana and Eddie didn't go to the back for whatever reason. Punk started dominating Rave. He slapped on his new submission finisher, the Anaconda Vice, but Nana sprayed Punk in the eyes with Lysol, and Rave rolled up a blinded Punk and yanked the tights for a shocking 3 count. The fans were outraged and were ready to jump the rail and attack Rave & the Embassy. There really wasn't to this match. Disappointing.

(9) ROH Champion Austin Aries defeated Samoa Joe via pinfall to retain the title. Both men were very over. Joe is just perfect in everything he does in the ring. His facial expressions are tremendous. Aries comes off as a star with his entrance and look, which was something I was skeptical of him pulling off. Early on, Joe hit the Ole Ole kick on Aries, but kicked so hard that his foot kicked the metal ROH barrier through and it looked like he actually kicked a fan. It looked pretty dangerous. Joe then did the Ole Ole kick right in front of me and really nailed Aries in the head. Aries bladed and bladed well. The match really picked up after this. Lots of great near-falls. A fantastic spot came when Aries was trying to get Joe up for the Brainbuster, but Joe suddenly reversed it into a Muscle Buster for a 2.99 count. The crowd was shocked, as they were when Aries finally hit the Brainbuster and got an even closer count. Aries missed the 450. Joe started clocking Aries with the knees to the head and then locked on the choke. Aries hit a low blow mule kick, but got trapped in the choke again. Joe laid back on the mat with the choke, but his shoulders were getting counted down. Thinking quickly, Aries flipped his weight on top of Joe and Joe got counted down. Great match. Apparently it was pretty short, but it didn't feel like it live.

After the match, most of the baby faces in the locker room came out in street clothes and put the fans and their dedication over as the reason expansion to places like Dayton and Chicago. Colt Cabana said Chicago was officially an ROH town (well duh) and was one of the best crowds (again, duh). Spanky, American Dragon, & Cabana were dancing and laughing with each other in the ring like they were lifetime friends. It was so cool to see. In a great touch, the wrestlers each went to ringside and shook hands with EVERY ringside fan. Jimmy Jacobs even had a bag of something that he was handing out to people (probably candy). That's a connection with the wrestlers you'll never get with TNA or WWE. By the way, rumor has it that after most of the fans left, ring announcer Dave Prazak finally DID do the Ric Flair strut.

Out of the four Chicago shows so far, I think I can say that this is my new favorite, barely beating out Death Before Dishonor 2 Night 2. Great night of action once again. I can't thank ROH enough.

QUICK TIPS FOR SENDING RESULTS

If you attend an arena event in future, either house shows or TV tapings, we encourage you to send us a report for publication. You can direct your reports to "matchresults" (@pwtorch.com) .

We accept reports in any format, but if it's not much trouble, please format your report like you see above, with the matches numbered like this (1) , (2) , (3) , with the opening line of each match paragraph stating who over whom (don't just say Wrestler A vs. Wrestler beat with the result listed later; instead, state up front who won so those readers who don't have time to read the entire report (i. e. their boss walks past their cubicle all the time looking over their shoulder) can at least quickly assess the results.

Also, please list tag teams using the "&" symbol as opposed to stating "and. " Reserve use of "and" when listing results in a three-way or four-way match where there are no teams (i. e. "Wrestler A over Wrestler B and Wrestler C in a three-way match") so it is easy to differentiate a handicap match from a three-way match.

If you know HTML coding for bolding, you can also bold out the first line of each match description. If you don't know HTML symbols, then we can add those ourselves.

Special thanks to everyone who helps us with reports on live events!
February 25, 2005
New York City, N.Y. at Madison Square Garden
Report by Dave Omansky, PWTorch.com correspondent

There were an estimated 14,000 people there. It was full for the most part besides the upper deck. Howard Finkel was the ring announcer for the night.

(1) SHELTON BENJAMIN defeated CHRISTIAN (w/TYSON TOMKO) to retain the Intercontinental Title. Tomko interfered a lot of times, but Shelton eventually won with the t-bone suplex. Above-average.

(2) CHRIS MASTERS defeated VAL VENIS. The crowd was dead for this one, and Masters won with his full nelson submission.

(3) WILLIAM REGAL & TAJIRI defeated LA RESISTANCE to retain the tag team titles. They won with the buzz saw kick followed by a knee from Regal.

Howard Finkel asked everyone to stand up for a legend, and out comes The Coach. After talking about himself, he brings out Superstar Billy Graham. After a little bit of talking, Coach starts to trash Graham. Graham hit Coach with the microphone. Didn't really see the point of that whole segment.

(4) TRISH STRATUS defeated VICTORIA and MOLLY HOLLY in a triple threat match to retain the women's title. Victoria hit the widow's peak on Molly, than Trish hit Victoria with the chick kick, and Trish pinned Molly.

(5) MUHAMMED HUSSAN (w/DIVARI) defeated RHYNO. Rhyno basically got no offense in, and Hussan won with a side spiral DDT. After the match, Hussan put Rhyno in the camel clutch.

(6) KANE defeated GENE SNITSKY. Christy Hemme was the guest ring announcer. This was advertised as a hardcore match, but it wasn't hardcore. Kane won with a choke slam.

(7) CHRIS BENOIT defeated CHRIS JERICHO in a submission match. I left to get ice cream, so I missed some of the match. The crowd was dead, and Benoit won with the Crossface.

(8) SHAWN MICHAELS defeated EDGE. HBK eventually won with sweet chim music. Above-average.

(9) BATISTA & RANDY ORTON defeated TRIPLE H & RIC FLAIR in a steel cage match. It was announced before the match that you could only win via pinfall or submission, so you couldn't win the match by escaping the cage. Flair got cut open very badly in the first few minutes of the match. Flair was carried out of the arena by referees, after a little while, Orton was also held to the back after receiving a chair shot from Triple H. So basically the match was Batista against Triple H. After some good battling, Batista gave Triple H a spine buster and gave him the Batista Bomb to pick up the victory. A good, four-star tag match.

Overall it was a pretty good show. The only match that wasn't watch able was the Masters-Venis match. The crowd was into it the whole show, and Batista got the biggest pop followed by Shawn Michaels. The WWE returns to MSG on Tuesday, April 19 for Smackdown tapings.

QUICK TIPS FOR SENDING RESULTS

If you attend an arena event in future, either house shows or TV tapings, we encourage you to send us a report for publication. You can direct your reports to "matchresults" (@pwtorch.com) .

We accept reports in any format, but if it's not much trouble, please format your report like you see above, with the matches numbered like this (1) , (2) , (3) , with the opening line of each match paragraph stating who over whom (don't just say Wrestler A vs. Wrestler beat with the result listed later; instead, state up front who won so those readers who don't have time to read the entire report (i. e. their boss walks past their cubicle all the time looking over their shoulder) can at least quickly assess the results.

Also, please list tag teams using the "&" symbol as opposed to stating "and. " Reserve use of "and" when listing results in a three-way or four-way match where there are no teams (i. e. "Wrestler A over Wrestler B and Wrestler C in a three-way match") so it is easy to differentiate a handicap match from a three-way match.

If you know HTML coding for bolding, you can also bold out the first line of each match description. If you don't know HTML symbols, then we can add those ourselves.

Special thanks to everyone who helps us with reports on live events!


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