SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report was originally published 15 years ago this week…
Ring of Honor
February 14, 2004
Report by Steve Montana, PWTorch.com reader
The show started right on time as always with ROH and they announced the first match would be the #2 seed against the Mystery #7 seed in the Pure Wrestling Tournament
Someone came out wearing Christopher Daniels’s attire and ripped the hood revealing himself as C.M. Punk off to huge crowd heat. The crowd chanted “We Want Daniels” as Punk cut his usual good promo. Hey Jarrett you watching this? Punk ripped into the crowd and Walters came out.
(1) C.M. Punk (#7 seed) beat John Walters (#2 seed). Walters was the hometown boy and got lots of heat. Slow start, feeling out process and they exchanged some nice arm drags and a double bridge spot to an applause from the crowd. Walters had control with some chops and hit a nice clothesline but Punk ended up reversing a Walters roll-through pin attempt for the clean win. Good match.
(2) Doug Williams (#4) beat Chris Sabin (#5). Sabin was way over with the crowd and Williams played the default heel. Williams dominated most of the offense until Sabin hit a nice springboard tornado DDT off the ropes for a very close nearfall. Sabin hit his “Cradle Shock” finisher but Williams kicked out and moments later Williams hit his “Chaos Effect” for the pin and win. Disappointing if only because Sabin’s offense was minimal and the match was shorter than it should have been. Solid match.
(3) Matt Stryker (#3) beat Josh Daniels (#6). Shortest match of the opening round, nothing spectacular but everything was solid and sound. Daniels had a couple nearfalls but as soon as Stryker applied his Stryker-Lock it was over. Fine for an opening round tourney match. Okay match.
(4) A.J. Styles (#1) beat Jimmy Rave (#8). It’s clear that in ROH, Styles is the No. 1 Star. Just his entrance music alone caused a standing ovation from the crowd, and the pops he got doubled anyone else all night aside from Low-Ki. Styles was cocky in the opening minutes, controlling the inexperienced Rave. Rave countered a Styles clothesline into the Crossface but Styles got to the ropes. Soon there after Styles leveled Rave with a discus clothesline for the win. Everyone knew Rave had no chance, but still fun to watch. Solid match.
Ring Crew Express came to the ring for a scheduled match but they were interrupted by The Outcast Killaz, who cut a promo on RCE, RCE cleared the ring of them and then celebrated to “We’re not gonna take it” and played the air guitar. Fun little segment to make the crowd laugh.
(5) Special K beat The Carnage Crew in a Country Whipping match. This was just brutal, both in a bloody and having to watch way. My friend who I attended with had never seen ROH before and said it best when he said “Whoa, Justin Credible just looks sad.” A brawl that was fun for a change and the boys from Special K did their best to emulate a late ’90s ECW bloodbath, but this isn’t why I go to an ROH show. In the end members of Special K interfered leaving just Loc of the Crew in the ring, Special K gave him a filthy spike piledriver threw a table at ringside and pinned him back in the ring. One star for the bumping of Special K.
Gary Michael Cappetta interviewed with ?J-Train?. Julius Smokes about where the hell Homicide is. After some stupid, yet somehow entertaining promo work from Smokes he pretty much just said he didn’t know where Homicide was either.
(6) C.M. Punk (#7) beat Doug Williams (#4) – Semi-Finals of Pure Wrestling Tourney, Punk was over huge again and Williams was now playing face. Williams out wrestled Punk early to frustrate the straightedge follower. But Punk came back with some brawling on the outside and when Williams missed a big knee drop Punk worked over the knee. Punk eventually went as far to outsmart Williams into victory, Williams did a nice rolling german suplex on Punk but Punk put his shoulder up while Williams’ were down and got the victory. Okay match.
(7) A.J. Styles (#1) beat Matt Stryker (#3) – Semi-Finals of Pure Wrestling Tourney. Long feeling out process to start. Styrker went to work over A.J’s knees and got the Stryker-Lock on but Styles eventually fought of it to the ropes. Stryker hoisted Styles up to the top rope and went for a superplex but was pushed off to the other side of the ring, a dazed Styles then springboarded off the top rope and hit a nice 450 Splash onto Stryker for the win. Again, the outcome was obvious but how they got there was well done. Very good match.
A 25-minute intermission took place. Much needed, especially for a women behind me who was (I think) dragged to the show by her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. The look on her face most of the show was priceless.
(8) The Briscoe Brothers beat The Backseat Boyz to retain the ROH Tag Team Titles. The Briscoe’s have a really good presence about them, the way they carry themselves great. Some back and forth action with tags until it broke down into an all out brawl with a bunch of really cool spots. Jay Briscoe did a great leaping tornado DDT off the ring apron to the floor onto Trent Acid to a huge pop and then in the ring the Briscoes absolutely killed Johnny Cashmere with a spike piledriver but Cashmere’s arms were in a double under-hook as well. Sick move, fun match, but too short.
(9) Samoa Joe beat Low Ki and B.J. Whitmer and Dan Maff in a Four-Way Survival Match – World Title vs. No. 1 Contenders Trophy. Two in at a time, and Maff and Whitmer worked together for an incredibly long time working over Samoa Joe while Low-Ki anxiously awaited his tag-in. Low-Ki finally tagged into a huge pop, Ki and Joe exchanged some of the stiffest chops and kicks I’ve ever seen, heard or felt. It was absolutely brutal. Low-Ki and Maff were brawling on the outside and on the inside Joe choked out Whitmer for the win in the stiffest match I’ve ever seen live. Very good.
(10) A.J. Styles (#1) beat C.M. Punk (#7) to win the Pure Wrestling Tournament. Only three rope breaks for each wrestler and a 20 count administered upon leaving the ring. Slow to start with lots of submission holds and both men had to use two of their rope breaks in the early moments. Styles used his last rope break on an STF from Punk and Punk celebrated that now Styles would have no way out of a submission hold. Punk went for a superplex off the top but Styles sat out into an gourdbuster off the top and Punk hit hard. Styles hit the Styles Clash and we were all convinced it was over and Punk kicked out to a big pop. Punk hit his unique variation to a DDT for another super near-fall. They both battled on the top rope and Styles blocked off Punk’s attempts and brought him down into a Styles Clash, and leveled him with it off the middle rope for the Pure Wrestling Championship win. Great match. Four stars.
Styles celebrated in the ring with all the competitors in the ring and raised the Title in glory. His glory was interrupted by Samoa Joe on the microphone who told him “The only reason you won this Title, is because you couldn’t beat me for mine”.
The armory was packed and the crowd was real good, as I said before Styles and Low-Ki were incredibly over and no one could touch C.M. Punk on the amount of heel heat received. ROH returns to Braintree on Saturday, May 15th. Count me there and if this angle leads to a Styles v. Joe rematch, count me as there and eagerly anticipating a sick main event.
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