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DVD Review: Burgan reviews ROH 1st Anniversary Show - Paul London, Crowd RIOTS after Homicide vs Corino

Aug 17, 2004 - 11:21:00 AM

By Derek Burgan, Torch Team Contributor

Torch DVD Review
ROH First Year Anniversary Show
February 8, 2003
Queens, NY at the Elks Lodge

This show follows Revenge on the Prophecy.

Were taking a page from Harry Potters time traveling diary this week to head back in time to February, 2003 and check out Ring of Honors One Year anniversary. What a good month that was in the world as Ben Affleck made us all believe again in Daredevil, 33 MILLION people tuned in to watch the finale of Joe Millionaire on Fox and who could forget the start of the greatest reality series ever Im a celebrity, get me out of here!? Now it can be said, this was in all likelihood the Greatest Month in the history of Mankind.

On to the show!

***Low Ki was on the streets of New York and delivered a promo about how he has brought four things to ROH Respect, Honor, Discipline and Dedication. Low Ki promised big things for him in 2003 and that the only thing his opponents can do is be ready.

***A big cake filled the screen that had 1st year anniversary written in the frosting. Obviously Monsta Mack isnt in the building yet as the cake is untouched. Highlights then aired from every event during ROHs first year.

***Paul London is shown arriving to the building. London put over Low Ki and A.J. Styles, his two opponents tonight in a three way match to decide the number one contender for the ROH title. London said that he let himself and the fans down by losing to Xavier at Final Battle but tonight hell leave with some gold. Something tells me Paul London is a glass is half full type of guy.

(1) E.Z. Money beat Chad Collyer and Colt Cabana and Michael Shane in a Four Corner Survival match. Our announcers tonight are Chris Lovey (ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky) and Ray Morrow (ROH cameraman Doug Gentry.) Thankfully EZ Money didnt wear his suspenders to the ring, but he did have his website address printed on the back of his trunks. I would love to see the customer service question on that one. And where did you find out about our company? I read about it on some guys ass. In one spot I really enjoyed, Michael Shane weaseled out of getting a tag from a desperate EZ Money only to quickly tag himself in off of Collyer to beat on Money. Morrow correctly pointed out what a good strategy that is in a match like this. Money went for a Tajiri-like handspring elbow to the corner but came up woefully short. The crowd actually chanted YOU F---ED UP which is pretty rare on ROH shows. Shane later jumped off the top rope but was caught by Cabana who nailed a sweet looking double underhook slam. Colt Cabana may be one of the most under-rated wrestlers in ROH today. The wild finish came after every guy hit their finisher but it was Money who offd Collyer with the Cha Ching (a variation of a suplex) for the win. (15:15) EZ Money wins?! WTF? And what kind of name is Cha Ching?! Thats worse than the Taffy Machine. Good fourway that really heated up at the end with a ton of nearfalls and a great visual of Michael Shane jumping off the top rope straight into an Ace Crusher from Cabana.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of Tommy Dreamer confronting Michael Shane and delivering his AWESOME speech from All Star Extravaganza.

***Backstage we have A.J. Styles who said that he has a shot for the ROH title tonight if he gets through both Paul London and Low Ki. He said that wont be easy. I agree. Styles said his number one goal was to get the belts off of The Prophecy.

(2) The Texas Wrestling Academy (Don Juan & Fast Eddie & HotStuff Hernandez w/Rudy Boy Gonzalez) beat The Carnage Crew (Loc & DeVito & Masada) by DQ. The ring announcer calls Masada, Masato. Hotstuff looks like Gigantor compared to his teammates. Hernandez is actually in TNA right now as part of Jeff Jarretts Elite Guard. UGH. The announcers say that Fast Eddie is from the area and has 15 family members here. Eddie then goes on to take the beating of his life including doing an Asai Moonsault straight into Loc hitting him mid-air with one of Boogalous hubcaps. This caused the DQ. (5:40) The match itself was nothing to write home about. Hernandez looked decent, but there wasnt much time for anyone else to shine.

***The Carnage Crew then began to destroy the Texas Wrestling guys including giving Fast Eddie a spike piledriver from the top rope. The bell was ringing like crazy while this was going on that really added to the scene. Rudy Boy Gonzalez came into the ring only to be beaten down. All of a sudden the Village Peoples Y.M.C.A. plays and Mace Mendoza comes out. Mace motions to the back and out comes Buff E. to a HUGE pop. The Christopher Street Connection were major babyfaces in New York. Ray Morrow yelled The queens are back in Queens! The CSC cleaned house in the ring as the crowd went hoss. Mace did the Bronco Buster to DeVito while Buff E. kissed Loc before setting him up for the Gay Basher. This was really fun to watch.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of the match between Jay and Mark Briscoe on Honor Invades Boston.

(3) Jay Briscoe beat Mark Briscoe. Chris Lovey talked about a close friend of Mark Briscoe dying in a car accident and that event changed Marks whole perspective on life. He said Mark was wearing black armbands, got a tattoo to honor his friend and said that he was now out of the Prophecy. Lovey said that the two brothers were dedicating this match to the memory of Marks friend and this would be the last time they would EVER fight each other. In WWE-speak that means 6 months. In TNA? 2 weeks. Talk about a match to go out on though. During the early part of the match Mark took a mafia kick from Jay and sold it as if he was paralyzed. When Jay came over to check on him though it was revealed it was all a ruse! Slippery Mark, very slippery. Later the spots came at a fast and furious pace as Mark did a springboard sommersault plancha onto Jay and followed up with a moonsault from the top rope to Jay on the floor. Keep in mind that Jay didnt catch Mark as he was ON HIS BACK. Thats just insane. Mark then put Jay on the top rope and jumped up for a springboard move but Jay grabbed Mark and hit an Ace Crusher! WOW! Mark then ran into another mafia kick that looked like it sent him into next week. Lovey said he hadnt seen people beat the crap out of each other like this since Fight Club I am Jacks worked punch. Mark hit Jay with the Jay Driller! Jay kicks out! How often do guys get to bury their own finisher? Mark went to hit a moonsault but no one was home when he landed. Jay then picked Mark up and hit a Jay Driller! WTF, Jay held on and hit a second Jay Driller!! This crazy as Jay hit a THIRD F---ING JAY DRILLER. Mark is dead. (16:35) That match was awesome.

***Da Hit Squad were on top of a building and shot a promo about delivering the greatest Scramble Match ever to the fans later tonight. Mafia said without the fans ROH is nothing. Mafia then kept going but the wind absolutely KILLED the audio and made it impossible to hear a word he said.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of the psycho-fast opening to the The Amazing Red vs. Low Ki match from Road to the Title.

***Backstage Homicide said that he feels sorry for Corino and said Bring your thugs because I got my crew out there! Cue the foreshadowing music!

(4) Steve Corino (w/Samoa Joe & Simply Luscious) beat Homicide. Homicide wore a custom New York Yankees jersey with The Notorious 187 on the back. Samoa Joe immediately got into Homicides face the minute he stepped into the ring. Intense stuff. Corino grabbed the mic and though he was being shouted down by the fans he said No crackhead in here has the guts to shut me up. Corino introduced Luscious and Joe before going on to introduce the newest member of his group. He said this new member is a man who reminds me of a young King of Old School. Out comes MICHAEL SHANE! Corino then pointed over to a stage which had Gabe Sapolsky and ROH Owner Rob Feinstein and said he calls his own shots in Ring of Honor. Corino then introduced CW Anderson! At this point Gabe stormed off. Ray Morrow said that Doug Gentry was given 3 days off without pay for not cutting off Anderson at Final Battle 2002. Homicide grabbed the microphone away from Corino and said he wasnt afraid of any of these guys because he has the crowd on his side. The crowd chanted NYC! NYC! Homicide then planted Corino in the face with the microphone to start the match.

Throughout the match CW Anderson and Samoa Joe were taunting fans in the crowd. Chris Lovey compared Corinos group to The Kliq in the WWE in the sense that they do whatever they want with no fear of any repercussions. Brutal match between Homicide and Corino that had some great moments including Homicide hitting an Ace Crusher off the top rope and later using the back of the referee to jump off of to land a Shining Wizard! Homicide threw Corino out of the ring and grabbed a chair. Samoa Joe glared at Homicide and said he was lucky they were in Ring of Honor or hed kick his ass. Homicide then leveled Corino with the chair! Homicide set Corino up in the chair and came running across with a TOPE CON HILO but Corino moved and Homicide SLAMMED into the guardrail. OUCH!! All of Corinos group stood around the fallen Homicide and taunted. Oh you didnt! Anderson is then seen having a yelling match with Gabe Sapolsky who has come back out. Lovey refereed to Sapolsky only as a member of ROH management. Anderson yelled Im HERE program boy! This is GREAT! Corino and Michael Shane dragged the dead weight of Homicide to the ring and tossed him in. A huge Homicide! chant started up at this point until Corino hit the Old School Expulsion! 12HOMICIDE KICKED OUT!

Corino locked in the Cobra Sleeper but Homicide was able to crawl to the ropes to force a break. Corino then dragged Homicide back to the center of the ring and put the move on again! Finally the ref raised Homicides arm up three times and it fell to the mat, lifeless. Corino gets the win. (12:10) Unbelievable match.

***Corinos group hit the ring and Joe wiped his feet on the Yankees jersey, only to give it to Michael Shane who took a page out of his cousin Shawn Michaels book and used it to rub between his crotch. Corino then reapplied the Cobra Sleeper to Homicide and THE SHIT HITS THE FAN!!!

All of a sudden the crowd starts jumping over the guardrail and its absolute CHAOS! Corino broke the hold and Homicide actually got up to hold down a fan who had made it into the ring. Outside the ring Samoa Joe and a HUMONGOUS fan went at it as the crowd was going insane. Guys came out from the locker-room and it was absolutely wild in the building, even Buff E. was going at it with a ringside fan. DeVito looked like he was having the time of his life. Michael Shane was SCREAMING at Rob Feinstein yelling F--- YOU! F--- YOU!! with Feinstein saying were going to get banned from this place! Gabe was on the ring apron trying to calm down Homicide and Low Ki. After he left the ring Homicide looked like he had to be restrained from killing Rob Feinstein. Homicide said he didnt care if he was fired. The camera follows the guys to the back and they are about to go at it with Corino again as he is still right by the entrance way. The crowd is then told Ladies and gentlemen, were going to take a brief intermission.

THAT WAS THE GREATEST WORKED-SHOOT IN THE HISTORY OF WRESTLING! Seriously, it was unreal. I was left breathless. This even beat out Bret Hart flipping out with a profanity laced tirade on the 2/17/97 RAW after his cage match with Sid Vicious when Steve Austin interfered and Bret lost his title after a one day title reign. I still remember my mouth dropping to the floor when I watched that one.

***In an ROH Exclusive we got to see The Riot two more times. The first from a different hand held camera and the second from the hard camera. The second hand held camera viewpoint was even better than the original.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of The Prophecy winning the ROH Tag Team Trophy from Unscripted and it being destroyed soon after.

***Christopher Daniels shot a backstage promo saying that hes bullshit over the fact that Steve Corino stole Simply Luscious and Samoa Joe from the Prophecy. Daniels challenges Corino to cast the first stone in the war and asked Are you ready?

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of Low Ki becoming the first ROH champion and his incredible promo afterwards from Crowning a Champion.

(5) Outcast Killaz vs. The Ring Crew Express never started. Gary Michael Capetta came to the ring and said someone from Steve Corinos group demands ringtime and whatever Steve Corinos team wants, they get. WTF? Capetta then introduced CW Anderson which caused Ray Morrow to say What balls for this guy to come out. Anderson said a guy from South Carolina just kicked the ass of 30 New Yorkers. Anderson told the guys in the ring that If you walk away now youll have a career. You stay, Ill end it. They all stayed. Anderson powerbombd Oman Tortuga onto Dunn and followed up by giving a spinebuster to Marcos. Diablo Santiago was on the receiving end of the Anderson Tradition, Andersons new arm-breaker submission hold.

***Anderson then challenged anyone from the crowd to come and face him. Out came C.M. Punk to the ring! Punk called Anderson out for picking on little kids and asked who gives a SHIT about South Carolina?! OH MY! I do believe these were the same little kids Punk picked on at Survival of the Fittest though. Punk then told Anderson You had the balls to show up, unlike someone else, so you got your challenge. Who the hell was Punk referring to?! Chris Lovey then talked about the match C.M. Punk was supposed to have with the artist formally known as Reckless Youth, Tom Carter. Apparently Carter was in a car accident on his way to the show.

(6) C.M. Punk beat C.W. Anderson. Lovey said this was an old school-like match with a ton of matwork before berating Anderson by saying He isnt a real Anderson. Hes not related to them. Its ridiculous! Thats a shoot brutha! One really neat spot came when both guys were on their backs and began chopping each other. They then got to their knees and continued the chop fest. Finally they were standing toe to toe and still throwing the chops! WHHHOOOOOOOO! Punk hit a Shining Wizard for a two count and pulled down his knee pad in preparation to hit another. Instead Punk ran himself into a superkick. The finish came when Anderson picked up Punk for a spinebuster, but Punk wiggled his way around to hit a sunset flip for the surprising three count. (9:40) Well that came out of nowhere.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of the Match of the Year street fight between Paul London and Michael Shane at Unscripted.

(7) The American Dragon Bryan Danielson beat Samoa Joe. You know whats gotta hurt? Samoa Joe giving you a Boston Crab and actually pulling all the way back and sitting on your upper back while he applies the hold. I can see Jack Evans contorting his body, but it was quite the visual to see American Dragon take the move. Joe then peppered Dragons chest with chops and absolutely destroyed Dragon with a Rock Bottom-like move when Danielson charged Joe in the corner. Joe then applied a variation of the bow & arrow that looked sick. Joe began taunting Dragon until he was hit by an enziguri and Dragon went on an offensive flurry that was alternating between European uppercuts and chops! Joe went to the top rope but was caught and given a superplex by Dragon. Danielson then climbed the ropes and hit a flying headbutt! Joe was knocked down with a Roaring Elbow but tripped Danielson to the mat when the move was attempted for a second time. Joe then hit Dragon in the face with some STIFF knee shots. Joe picked up Danielson and hit a powerbomb, but when Joe went to pick him uip again, Danielson hit a small package and got the three count. (15:20) Another fantastic match.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of Low Ki losing the ROH title to Xavier at Unscripted.

***Allison Danger was in the ring and she introduced Xavier who shot a promo on the fans before saying he was out here to scout his opponent in the main event. The crowd chanting SHUT THE F--- UP! Xavier said it doesnt matter who wins the three way match between Styles, Low Ki and Paul London because hes beaten them all. Hes got a point there.

(8) Paul London beat A.J. Styles and Low Ki to become the number 1 contender for the ROH title. Right at the start of the match Low Ki threw London so hard into the ropes that the bottom rope actually broke. Yikes. Later A.J. and Low Ki had a chop battle in the ring that was insane until Ki basically just said the hell with this and just kicked A.J. right in the head. This led to Paul London doing a frog splash from the top rope, to the floor! IS HE NUTS?! Ki threw London over the ropes, but London tried to skin the cat. I say tried because Styles was outside the rig and grabbed Londons legs and while London was holding onto the ropes Ki came over and STIFF KICKED him in the back. YEEOUCH~! London nailed Styles in the back of the head with a missile dropkick only to walk over and have Styles do a kip-up huracanrana. Im sorry, but thats f----ing cool.

Styles did his Lionsault-into a DDT move to Low Ki, but Ki somehow kicked Styles in the face to stop that shit. Never seen that before. Ki then jumped on Paul Londons back to lock on the Dragon Clutch and Get This, A.J. Styles then did the Lionsault-into a DDT move onto Ki and hit it. WOW!!! Cue the HOLY SHIT chant! Styles then put the Muta Lock on London building it up so they were both on their knees which allowed Low Ki to TEE OFF on Londons chest with his kicks. WTF?! THATS SICK! Low Ki then put the Dragon Clutch on Styles, but London was still locked in Styles legs, so he put Low Ki in a submission hold at the same time. This was incredible!!!

Low Ki hit the Krush Rush on Styles, but London made the save. Ki then tried to hit the Krush Rush on London, but it was reversed into a DDT. London then caught A.J. up on the top rope and the two began beating the holy shit out of each other. Ki pulled London off only to be suplexed up onto Styles who set up a super styles clash. Oh but it gets better, Ki counters the move giving Styles a huracanrana straight into a powerbomb from London. HOLY SHIT!! Low Ki went to the top rope to give London a Ki Krusher, but London punched his way out of it giving Styles time to come over and get involved. Ki ended up giving Styles the Ki Krusher and as soon as Styles landed, Paul London came off the top rope with a London Star Press!!!! 123!!! (19:30) 10 f---ing stars. Crowd chants Match of the year!

***Xavier, who was ringside, came into the ring and told London Im sure those fans really like you. Im sure theyd like to see you kick my ass. Xavier then said that London wasnt getting a title shot later on, because if he wanted the match it had to be RIGHT NOW!

(9) Xavier (w/Allison Danger) beat Paul London to retain the ROH Title. Allison Danger kept interfering at the start of the match which brought out Alexis Laree! CAT FIGHT!!! Laree stayed out to second London and got to see Xavier drop him right on his head during a German suplex. Xavier tossed London outside the ring and beat the crap out of him, including using London as a battering ram into one of the ringposts. Lovey said that reminded him of One Man Gang back in Mid-South. London was busted open at this point and Xavier actually used Londons blood to smear an X on his chest. NICE! London regained some momentum and went to the top rope. When Xavier rolled out of the ring London just turned around at hit a cross body from the top rope to the floor! London threw Xavier into the ring and followed him in with a springboard moonsault! Outside the ring Xavier tossed Allison Danger in front of him when Paul London came flying over the top rope with a plancha. London went over to see how she was and sidestepped Xavier who speared Danger! London then gave a moonsault to Xavier by jumping off the guardrail!!! London threw Xavier back in the ring and hit a DDT for a two count. London went to the top rope but was caught by Xavier. London pushed Xavier off and hit the London Star Press! YES!! 1..2..Allison Danger pulls Xavier out of the ring! Danger then got in the ring only to be speared by Alexis Laree! Xavier got back in the ring and hit London with the Kiss Your X Goodbye followed by a 450 splash! London kicked out at two!! XAVIER IS IN SHOCK! London went for a small package but Xavier kicked out at two. London then went for a roll-up that Xavier reversed and held on to Londons tights for the three count. (19:30) Best. Xavier. Match. Ever.

Seriously, this is as good as booking can get along with two guys tearing it up. London comes out of the match even more over than he was thanks to his fighting spirit and oh-so-close nearfalls and Xavier comes out as an even bigger asshole heel. A bravura performance by everyone involved.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of the Eddy Guerrero & Amazing Red match against the S.A.T.s from A Night of Appreciation.

(10) Da Hit Squad (Monta Mack & Mafia) & Divine Storm (Chris Devine & Quiet Storm w/Chris Devines girlfriend Trinity) & The S.A.T. (Joel & Jose Maximo) & Mikey Whipwreck beat Special K (Deranged, Izzy, Dixie, Slim J, Hydro, AngelDusty, Yeyo & Slugga) & Brian XL & Jody Fleisch in the Mother of All Scramble Matches. Chris Lovey had the line of the night by saying I dont know why this would be the main event because youd have to be on E to put this match on last. The visual of so many guys on the apron made me think back to the days of the tag team Survivor Series matches from back in the day. For some god knows reason Quiet Storm and the S.A.T.s had their faces painted and even the announcers had no idea why. Welcome to Indy Wrestling!

Deranged tagged in and ripped off his shirt to begin flexing like he was Lex Luger. Then it got really weird as he challenged Monsta Mack to a test of strength and kept alternating hands until putting both up but TICKLING Monsta Mack when he put his hands up. Mack then giggled like a school girl in a scene straight out of The Simpsons. Mack then gave Deranged what Ray Morrow called a titty twister. That sound you hear is Frank A. Gotch spinning in his grave. Mikey Whipwreck started doing a Ric Flair impersonation and even did the FLAIR FLOP! This is officially the most bizarre match I have ever seen.

During this match the announcers put over just about every name that has been associated with Ring of Honor over the past year. They also put over Frank Goodmans USAPro Wrestling. Goodman promoted this show as you wouldnt believe the hoops you have to jump through in order to get a wrestling license in New York. The announcers even put over the announcers by thanking Donnie B, Steve Corino and there was one other guy, what was his name? Whatever. Jeff Gorman, YOU JUST GOT SERVED! Lovey thanked Rob Feinstein and Ray Morrow thanked him as well but added even though he docked me 3 days pay for the CW Anderson thing. Lovey said That was Doug Gentry. Morrow deadpanned Oh yeah. I couldnt make this stuff up if I tried.

Out of nowhere Mikey Whipwreck turned heel and handed out stunners to every single person on the babyface team in a moment ripped from an EMLL minis match. Slugga then gave a BodyBag to Chris Devines girlfriend Trinity. Deranged gave a Code Red to Mafia. HOLY COW. The finish came when Mafia gave a Burning Hammer to Deranged from the top rope in a very SICK spot. (33:45) You cant imagine how many spots there were in this match, literally a million. (Editors Note: Derek, Ive told you a thousand times, dont exaggerate!) Half were incredible cool and the other half so campy youd have to check your tape to make sure you were watching ROH. I would have loved this match if it hadnt come after two emotionally draining matches, but it just seemed to go forever and this wasnt helped at all by the fact that the crowd refused to get into the match.

***ROH First Year Anniversary clip: Highlights aired of A.J.Styles giving Christopher Daniels the Styles Clash through a table from Revenge on the Prophecy.

***Backstage with Christopher Daniels and Allison Danger, again, but this time Daniels took off his robe and gimmicks saying that this message wasnt from The Fallen Angel but from Christopher Daniels to Steve Corino. Daniels brought up meeting Corino at the WWEs Funkin Dojo back in the day and how both of them came out of it with jack shit except for their friendship. Daniels put over Corinos ECW, NWA and Zero-One runs. Daniels then challenged Corino to start the war between his group and the Prophecy. Great promo.

***A dejected Paul London gets a pep talk from A.J. Styles who said dont feel bad about not being the ROH champ because neither am I. Styles asked London if he would go after the Prophecys tag team titles. London said yes.

***C.M. Punk started to shoot a promo but was interrupted by Colt Cabana. Punk then re-started the interview and said it was about respect. Punk put over Ace Steel as a force ROH fans would see in 2003. Punk then said he had to bury a guy about to come into Ring of Honor. Punk showed how much his Straight Edge lifestyle meant to him by putting his knuckles to the camera so the letters D R U G F R E E could be seen. Punk asked What does Raven stand for? If he can stand ZING! Punk challenged Raven to a match on March 15th.

***Holy shit! Its RAVEN! Raven shot a promo telling Punk that young people like you remind me of what old timers thought of me when I started. Raven said the booze and drugs he has taken over his career have acted as a preservative. Thats a new one. In a related story, Sean Waltman expected to live forever. Raven said hes in the best shape of his life.

***The boys in the back are eating that cake which opened the show when Rob Feinstein came in to thank everyone. Mafia said there were no bounced checks during the year so that means its a good one. They then hit Rob Feinstein in the face with the cake in what must be a wrestling first. A cake covered Rob Feinstein closed the show by asking Anybody want any cake?

Overall Thoughts: ROHs First Year Anniversary Show is definitely going down in the top 10 ROH shows of All Time. The fan riot was quite the spectacle and both matches with Paul London were incredible. This is not to mention the other THREE HOURS of action. Yes, you want this show. Click Here to purchase the disc or head on over to and check out all the other videos they have to offer.

ROH DVD Guy Derek Burgan has been writing for the PWTorch website for 3 years. His hobbies include watching the movie Starship Troopers 2, reading Jeff Smiths Bone and calling up the Puroresu Power Hour Radio Show and repeatedly ask when Keith Lipinski is going to marry Sumie Sakai until he hangs up. If you have any questions, corrections, feedback, comments and ideas, he can be reached at:

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