ROH: Manhattan Mayhem

ROH: Manhattan Mayhem
New York, NY

ROH World Champion: Austin Aries (since 12/26/2004)
ROH Pure Champion: Jay Lethal (since 3/5/2005)
ROH Tag Team Champions: BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs (since 4/2/2005)

Good Times, Great Memories with Colt Cabana: He’s in downtown New York, DADDY-O! People are asked what they think of Nigel McGuinness and one guy who looks like he was a tad irresponsible with LSD back in the ’60s says, “He sounds like he has a British sounding name.” Classic stuff.

From there, we go to Earlier Today. Samoa Joe meets Jay Lethal in the ring. Lethal starts to thank Joe for all he’s done for him until Joe shoves him back and yells at him because obviously he’s taught Jay nothing if he’s here to thank him right before they get into the ring. Joe is here to take his title, and if Lethal has learned anything from Joe, its that he has to do whatever it takes to keep Joe from taking his belt. To prove Joe wrong, Lethal pie faces Joe into the corner and tells him after tonight, Lethal will tell Joe where to meet HIM from now on. Okay, I am really feeling this title match now.

Your hosts are Jimmy Bower & Dave Prazak.

  • Dunn & Marcos vs. Izzy & Deranged (w/Cheech & Cloudy) vs. Dixie & Azrieal

It’s the battle of the Special K boys. The losers must never team up again. Wait a second. Right after Dunn and Marcos make their entrance, the Carnage Crew return after their 90-day absence to get revenge. You see, the reason they had to stay out of ROH for 90 days in the first place was because of a loss to Dunn & Marcos in the Scramble Cage match back on the first night of the Third Anniversary Celebration in February. Since Dunn secured the pin on them, he receives a Carnage-Plex first. Marcos takes a sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker combo ON TOP of Dunn! After that, the Crew smashes Marcos in the face with a pair of hubcaps. To really send a message, they give Dunn a CARNAGE DRIVER off the apron through a freaking table. Now Loc is on the mic. He tells ROH and the entire wrestling industry to kiss their behinds.

Alright. So now we have a regular tag match since Dunn and Marcos will not be able to compete.

  • Izzy & Deranged (w/Cheech & Cloudy) vs. Dixie & Azrieal

Lacey is nowhere to be found, but word on the street is she has a very important *business* meeting with P Diddy lined up for tonight. Hmm, something tells me she’s lying. Deranged gets slapped by Azrieal and goes nuts. Dixie snaps off a hurracanrana on Izzy and hits a swinging reverse neckbreaker for two. Azrieal tags and hits a flying leg drop on Izzy off Dixie’s shoulders for two. Nice spinning back suplex from Azrieal gets two. Azrieal delivers a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for another two. Izzy counters an octopus stretch into a DVD! That gets two. Lacey’s Angels give Azrieal a split-legged brainbuster. Dixie gets drawn into the ring for some heel choking on the other end of the ring. Another double-team move sees Azrieal receive a springboard doomsday ace crusher. Cocky cover by Deranged gets two. Azrieal counters a monkey flip on Deranged and places him in the corner, but both guys are crotched. Azrieal still gets a superplex and makes the HOT TAG TO DIXIE! He goes CLOTHESLINE CRAZY and looks to finish off Deranged. Dixie sits down on a rear chinlock as Azrieal comes off the top for a DOUBLE STOMP, but Izzy shoves Dixie forward to take the blow! Azrieal slams Izzy face-first to block a victory roll and double stomps him instead. Azrieal delivers a cobra clutch backbreaker to Deranged and then unloads on his back with kicks! Cover, 1-2-NO! Azrieal catches Deranged in the corner off a whip and tries for a spinebuster, but Deranged counters with a reverse rana into a piledriver for 1-2-3! (10:17) Dixie and Azrieal can never team up again. This was a tag team spot fest done well where they managed to still interject some of the tag formula to have it all make sense. **¾

  • Colt Cabana vs. Nigel McGuinness

If Nigel had a problem with all of Cabana’s wacky antics, why did he decide to team up with him in the first place? Not really a blood feud or anything, Nigel just wants Cabana to take what he does in the ring a little more serious. That’s all he’s saying. They trade wristlocks and various leg holds until it becomes a game of “Can Nigel roll up Cabana?” It’s a lot of fun. Nigel goes back to work on the arm and delivers the Divorce Court. The finish comes when Nigel clips the knee from the front by what appeared to be an accident. Nigel rolls into Cabana again right into his balls and a victory roll gets the win for Nigel. (11:52) Very well done comedy match mixed in with great technical moves from both men. These two would feud off and on throughout the summer leading to Nigel winning the Pure Title at Dragon Gate’s Invasion at the end of August. ***

We go to the back with Alex Shelley, who’s complaining about not even getting a locker room to change in after being kicked out of Generation Next – the group he started. Usually Shelley is God-fearing, but he’s not so sure tonight.

  • Black Tiger vs. James Gibson

Black Tiger IV is better known as Rocky Romero. Gibson is mad he didn’t win the American Super Juniors Tournament in April and wants a New Japan star to beat, while Black Tiger went all the way to the finals. Bower and Prazak announce Gibson is already signed to a ROH world title rematch at the next show, so that kind of ruins the match for me a little bit. Some great arm hold exchanges between these two to start. Black Tiger uses a lucha-style snapmare to escape. Black Tiger lands on his feet after a monkey flip, but runs into a forearm smash. Black Tiger delivers some more lucha moves with a nice springboard armdrag off the ropes. Gibson takes a dropkick out to the floor and catches Tiger trying to deliver a baseball slide. Instead, he spins Tiger around and slams his chest on the apron! He follows up and runs Tiger into the ringside barricade. Back in, Gibson gets two off a back suplex. Camel clutch is applied. Gibson whips Tiger from corner to corner. Tiger forearms Gibson back and delivers a springboard dropkick. He follows up with a neck wrench and drives Gibson’s head into the corner. That gets two. They go to the floor where another neck wrench is applied and this time Gibson goes flying into the barricade. Back in, Tiger misses an elbow drop off the top and Gibson goes after the arm. Tiger takes Gibson down nicely into a cross armbreaker. From there, Gibson lifts Tiger and steps over into the Texas Cloverleaf. Holy crap I love that. Tiger makes the ropes, but Gibson is right back on him with a pair of short-arm clotheslines. Backbreaker and a flying leg drop gets two. They go through a tombstone piledriver sequence, but Tiger slips out and Gibson gets thrown off into the corner. Tiger wants the TIGER SUPLEX, but Gibson goes down to his knees. Gibson powers out and rolls Tiger up for 1-2-NO! Gibson blocks a kick and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Black Tiger rolls through a rollup into the TIGER SUPLEX! This time he pulls it off for real. 1-2-NO! Somehow, somehow, somehow James Gibson kicked out! Gibson tries to avoid a Fisherman’s Suplex, but Tiger gets it anyway for 1-2-NO! When it only gets two for Tiger, he goes to the anklelock! Gibson makes the ropes, but Tiger pulls him back to the center of the ring. Gibson kicks him off into the ropes and rolls him up for 1-2-NO! Gibson chops back and places Tiger in the corner. He tries to kick Tiger, but he catches the foot and applies an anklelock! Totally illegal and pointless since they’re both in the ropes, but pretty neat to see. Black Tiger dives off the top, but falls right across Gibson’s knee for a gutbuster. Tiger kicks back and nails a Northern Lights suplex for 1-2-NO! Gibson rolls back and applies the GUILLOTINE CHOKE for the submission win! (15:58) Excellent match and while it did have its problems where it looked like Romero didn’t know what to do at times, they managed to get back on track and finished the match very well. ***¾

  • ROH Tag Team Champions BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Roderick Strong & Jack Evans

This would be Whitmer and Jacobs first defense as champs. I’m sorry if I’m little biased, but I am a HUGE Generation Next mark. TNA, ROH, it doesn’t matter – I love those guys. They show off the new ROH tag belts which we are the ones we are familiar with today. Jacobs and Strong do some standard stuff and then Evans tags in to show up Whitmer with some of his break dance moves. YOU GOT SERVED, BJ! When its Whitmer’s turn to dance, he starts to snap his fingers because he has no rhythm and then SLAPS Evans across the face! Whitmer wins a chop battle with Strong and puts him on the floor with Evans. So that they don’t get lonely, Whitmer launches Jacobs out onto the Gen Nexters. Back in, Whitmer powerbombs Jacobs onto Evans for two. Whitmer delivers a release German suplex on Evans. Strong gets a blind tag, but runs into a t-bone suplex. Jacobs tags to double-team the crap out of Strong with elbows and dropkicks for two. From the apron, Jacobs tries a shoulderblock through the ropes and takes a face full of knee. Strong drapes Jacobs across the ropes in the corner and tags Evans in to do a moonsault double-stomp! That gets two! Jack Evans delivers a dropsault and a standing phoenix splash for 1-2-NO! Strong tags back in for a double-underhook throw and then draws Whitmer in to set up a vertical suplex/450 splash combo by Strong and Evans. Jacobs chops back and dives at Whitmer, but Strong stops him with a spinebuster. Jacobs tries to punch out of a suplex and counters into a small package for two. Strong drills Jacobs with a clothesline and tags Evans. Sitout suplex into a slam gets two thanks to Whitmer. Evans cuts off another tag and hits a spin kick for two. Strong tags and fires away as Jacobs starts to HUSS up. It’s the Bezerker boots, I tells ya! Strong has enough of that and DRILLS Jacobs with a running boot! That gets two. Generation Next tries a Doomsday Device, but Jacobs counters with a reverse rana on Strong causing Evans to go splat on the mat. Tag to Whitmer, he rolls through a flying crossbody from Evans and delivers a Brainbuster! He tries a running boot at Strong, but he gets caught with a capture suplex into a backbreaker! Strong delivers another backbreaker and with Whitmer draped across his knee, Evans comes off the top with another moonsault double-stomp! Jacobs comes back in the ring and goes for the CONTRA CODE on Strong, but he’s shoved off into a spear on Evans! Whitmer gets rid of Strong, leaving Evans all alone with the champs. DOOMSDAY RANA to Evans! OH MY GOSH. I’ve never seen that pulled off so well. Whitmer covers for 1-2-NO! Strong comes back in and has a spinebuster for Jacobs! Half-nelson backbreaker to Whitmer! ODE TO THE BULLDOGS! Evans covers Whitmer for 1-2-NO! Jacobs pulls Strong out while Evans has Whitmer up on the turnbuckle. They head to the top rope where Evans delivers a TOP-ROPE HURRACANRANA! Ehh, a little botched . Not as bad as Jericho/Gedo at Halloween Havoc ’97 though. Evans covers for 1-2-NO! Strong is back in and delivers a Fireman’s Carry into a gutbuster. Whitmer ducks a Running Boot and answers back with a nice clothesline. That gets rid of Strong. Whitmer and Jacobs set up for the Powerbomb/CONTRA CODE combo on Evans! That will do it. Whitmer covers for 1-2-3. Champs retain! (14:47) Kind of lost steam there at the end, but otherwise this is some of the most fun-filled 15 minutes of tag wrestling you’ll find these days.. ****¼

  • ROH Pure Champion Jay Lethal vs. Samoa Joe

To give you a little background here, Jay Lethal had originally started in ROH with Special K under the name Hydro. He wrestled with those crazy rave kids for nearly two years until Samoa Joe took him under his wing because of his great potential to be a big star. Now Joe is beltless, and he’s taught his protégé how to become a champion. Lethal has the Pure title, and that’s now what Joe wants. Joe corners Lethal and unloads with chops to start, but Lethal answers back with a slap that puts Joe down on his butt! Lethal ~ “The REAL champ is here!” Lethal tries some forearms, but Joe lifts him off his feet and grounds him. Lethal reverses to a hammerlock. Joe makes a nice counter to a Fujiwara armbar. Joe backs Lethal up against the ropes and chops him instead of a clean break. Lethal delivers a single leg dropkick. He follows up with a reverse neckbreaker and a Russian legsweep. Jay hooks on a Texas cloverleaf stretch hold. I mean, I don’t even know what to call this except to say it appears to REALLY hurt. Joe uses one of his rope breaks and walks away from a crossbody out of the corner. Joe connects with a closed fist and that’s against the Pure match rules. He gets a stern warning. Lethal applies a cobra clutch stretch and Joe uses another rope break. That’s two of three! Lethal runs into STJOE. Joe snapmares Lethal over for the chop/kick/knee drop combo for two. Lethal wins a chop battle, but charges into another closed fist. Since he’s already been warned, that costs Joe his third rope break – meaning no more rope breaks for Joe! Jay Lethal can now hold on to a submission until Joe either escapes or taps out. Joe delivers the powerbomb/Boston crab/STF combo! Lethal makes the ropes for only his FIRST rope break. Now Joe hits a running knee in the corner to set up the running face wash. Lethal catches his foot and chops Joe into the ropes. He charges at Joe with a running dropkick! Lethal delivers the Running Suplex and heads up top for the Dynamite Headbutt! Can he hit it? Yes! That gets two. Joe kicks Lethal out to the floor and follows him out with a tope! Before they went to the floor, Lethal hit Joe with a closed fist and takes a warning. They fight on the apron where Lethal grabs a sleeper. The rope breaks mean nothing for Joe! He can’t get Lethal off his back, so he takes Lethal with him through a table at ringside! Back in, they trade chops again. Lethal charges into a snap powerslam for 1-2-NO! Joe goes right into the cross armbreaker. Lethal must use his second rope break. He slips out of a second powerbomb for another reverse neckbreaker and a Flying DDT! Cover, 1-2-NO! Joe hits a palm strike, but Lethal ducks under a clothesline and launches Joe with a DRAGON SUPLEX! Cover, 1-2-NO!! Lethal wants another one, but Joe counters and delivers a German Suplex/Dragon Suplex/X-Plex combo. I believe its called the Chimera Combo. That will do it and Joe is your NEW ROH Pure Champion. (16:36) Such a great story told here and Joe really put Lethal over by needing those rope breaks and taking the Dragon Suplex. He really made Lethal look good here, which is exactly what they set out to do. For the first time since Final Battle 2004, “The Champ is Here” plays over the PA system… ***½

…that is until we’re interrupted by the Rottweilers. They proceed to beat the crap out of Joe and Lethal. Low-Ki is back after being suspended indefinitely at Final Battle 2004 for attacking a ref. Low-Ki admits to being the guy who stomped his eye shut at the Trios Tournament back in March. He goes on about earning respect and then he and the rest of the Rottweilers beat Joe and Lethal down again.

Intermission time with Gary Michael Capetta! He’s standing by with Nigel McGuinness who admits that kicking Colt Cabana in the balls was a total accident.

Spanky sends a message that he can’t wait to get back to ROH. Plus, he wants gold!

  • Jimmy Rave (w/The Embassy) vs. CM Punk Dog Collar Match

Prince Nana gives Jade Chung a hard time when she stepped up on the apron before Jimmy Rave could use her as a footstool. And you thought ECW was misogynistic. Maybe it was just Gabe all this time! Unfortunately, Jimmy Rave is sick tonight, so Killer Kruel will wrestle in his place. Aww, the poor guy. While the ref is adjusting Punk’s collar, Rave returns from the back and attacks Punk from behind. Both guys eventually get latched together. Punk hits a Russian legsweep and follows with a Garvin stomp. Rave is put in the tree of woe to take a couple running knees. They go to the floor where Punk grabs a chair, but Rave yanks the chain and pulls Punk right into the chair and the ringpost to bust him open. Rave uses the chain to work on the cut. We even see a spot from the Piper/Valentine dog collar match at Starrcade ’83 where Rave takes the chain and wraps it around Punk’s eyes and mouth. Rave wants the RAVE CLASH, which is just the Styles Clash renamed for himself. Punk grabs the ropes and kicks Rave away to set up the Shining Wizard. Punk delivers some clotheslines and a single leg dropkick. Superkick connects for two. Rave counters a powerbomb and hits FROM DUSK TIL DAWN using the chain! Punk counters GHANARHEA (which is definitely something you want to avoid) and Rave backdrops out of Welcome to Chicago. Rave wants the Doppler Effect , but Punk catches him and rolls through into a half-crab. Prince Nana gets up on the apron to bring Punk over as Rave crotches him with the chain. Now Rave hits the Doppler Effect for 1-2-NO! Uh oh, now Rave wants to steal the PEPSI PLUNGE too! Punk backdrops him off the top rope and answers with a trifecta of powerbombs! Cover, 1-2-NO! ANACONDA VICE! He has to break because the Outcast Killahz hop up on the apron, but he knocks them down. Fast Eddie Vegas runs down to ringside as Punk hits Rave with the Pepsi Twist. Fast Eddie wants to break up the pin with a moonsault, but Punk moves and Rave gets nailed. Killer Kruel comes in and takes a tornado DDT as Punk kicks off Rave in the corner. Prince Nana comes in and tries to cheapshot Punk. Jade Chung jumps on Punk’s back and gets slammed off. During all the distractions, Rave grabs the chair Nana slid into the ring and delivers chairshot after chairshot on Punk until he’s flat on his back for the 1-2-3. (13:35) Loved the actual finish, but the last several minutes felt like a TNA match with all the run-ins and interference. Also, they didn’t really make much creative use of the chain that we’ve seen in the past. As a company that thrives on creativity, this match feels like kind of a let down. Next week, CM Punk meets Jimmy Rave in a STEEL CAGE in Chicago for the final chapter of this feud. The Embassy continue the beatdown afterwards until a babyface foursome makes the save. **¼

On Punk’s way to the back, Punk cuts a great promo. No matter how much blood he’s lost or how hurt he may be, he will make Jimmy Rave pay!

  • ROH World Champion Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley

The template for this feud is basically what you saw with Faarooq and The Rock back in 1998 where the founder of a stable is overthrown and kicked out by someone else who is more successful and better than you are. Some nice chain wrestling goes down to start. Shelley tries to keep Aries down with a headscissors, but that never works. Aries escapes with a dropkick. He should know better. Aries tries to flip over Shelley out of the corner, but Shelley stays one step ahead and delivers a German suplex. Shelley hits a double running knee strike in the corner and a snap suplex gets two. Shelley connects with a slingshot elbow drop from the apron. They go to the floor where Shelley hits a corkscrew plancha on Aries. Back in, Aries hits a running hotshot and then follows up with a neckbreaker to the middle rope from the apron! OUCH! Aries hits a Hilo and a diving elbow drop. Shelley blocks a suplex and counters with a swinging fisherman suplex. That gets two. Aries stops Shelley on the top rope and brings him down with a swinging neckbreaker off the ropes! Cover, 1-2-NO! Aries applies the Horns of Aries. Rolling knee drop gets two. Shelley slaps back, but gets caught ducking low off a whip with a jumping double knee strike. Aries unloads with kicks and catches Shelley with a side slam for two. Aries delivers a cobra clutch backbreaker and follows up with the Powerdrive Elbow for two. Shelley punches out of a neck wrench, but Aries grabs Shelley by the hair and yanks his head down on his knee. Aries hits a neck snap on the top rope and comes back in the ring with a slingshot corkscrew splash for 1-2-NO! Quebrada by Aries hits knees and Shelley comes back with a enziguri. Shelley delivers a frog splash for 1-2-NO! From there he goes right into the BORDER CITY STRETCH! Aries manages to slip out and apply the Fish Hook of Doom! Aries breaks at the four count. Shelley blocks a Brainbuster and reapplies the BORDER CITY STRETCH! Aries gets desperate and has to BITE his way out of the hold. Aries avoids a superkick and answers with a shinbreaker/back suplex combo. Aries hits a trifecta of running dropkicks in the corner for 1-2-NO! Aries still can’t get the Brainbuster, so he delivers the Finlay Roll instead. He tries the 450 SPLASH, but Shelley moves and Aries lands on his feet. He turns around and eats a superkick from Shelley! SHELL SHOCK! Cover, 1-2-NO! Aries tries a Crucifix Bomb, but Shelley stands strong and spins him around for a TKO! Shelley plants Aries with a Tornado DDT and hits the SHELL SHOCK for a second time. Aries grabs the ropes to prevent any kind of cover, but Shelley pulls him away for 1-2-NO! Aries still grabbed the bottom rope. Aries counters a suplex and kicks Shelley right in the head. That’ll get him dazed enough for a BRAINBUSTER! 450 SPLASH! That gets three. (19:34) Some guys are main eventers, and even though I am a Shelley fan, he’s just not one of those guys. He still isn’t three years after this show, but that’s a whole other story. ***¼

  • Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal vs. Homicide & Low-Ki (w/Julius Smokes)

The Rottweilers stare Aries out of the ring as Joe and Lethal attack from behind. IMPROMPTU MAIN EVENTS FOR THE WIN~! Joe and Lethal dump them out for STEREO TOPES! Back in, Lethal holds Low-Ki upside down in the corner as Joe comes off the ropes with the face wash! Once the action settles to a standard tag match, Low-Ki nails Lethal from the apron and we have our face-in-peril. Homicide knocks Lethal out of the ring and hits a Tope Con Hilo. Back in, the Rottweilers double-team with a running shoulderblock. Homicide connects with an elevated DDT off the top rope. Low-Ki and Homicide set Lethal up in a tree of woe. Homicide holds Lethal up while Low-Ki comes off the top with the GHETTO STOMP! Holy crap. Cover, 1-2-NO! Low-Ki wins a chop battle and hits a suplex for two. Homicide tags and delivers an ace crusher. Low-Ki tags back in and nails a running double-chop for two. Homicide is back in and hits a piledriver. He elbows out of a Dragon Suplex attempt and comes off the ropes for a clothesline, but Lethal ducks underneath and gets the DRAGON SUPLEX! HOT TAG TO JOE! He goes chop crazy on the heels! Low-Ki charges into an STJOE! Homicide runs at Joe and takes a release belly-to-belly throw into the corner! Oh its not a good time to be a Rottweiler. Low-Ki chops back on Joe and charges, but Lethal saves Joe by clotheslining Low-Ki out of his boots. Joe wants the MUSCLE BUSTA on Low-Ki. Homicide breaks away from Lethal and dropkicks Low-Ki free. With Joe leaned over on the ropes, Low-Ki delivers the GHETTO STOMP to the back! That gets two. Lethal hits the Running Suplex on Homicide. Meanwhile, Low-Ki nails the John Woo Kick on Joe. Lethal cuts off Low-Ki’s GHETTO STOMP attempt and tries a superplex, but he gets shoved off into the COP KILLA/GHETTO STOMP combo! (9:19) Yeah. Jay Lethal should be dead. Nothing wrong with this match. Short, sweet and directly to the point. The Rottweilers are running strong. ***

Before we go, Jimmy Rave and Prince Nana say they ain’t skeered of CM Punk. In a manner of speaking, that is. Jamie Noble is looking forward to his ROH world title shot. Colt Cabana is standing by with for a word with “Sugar” Shawn Price. Colt’s disappointed in Nigel for kicking him in the bollocks to win the match, but at least he’s not British. Nigel walks by and he’s not laughing. Accidents happen, but maybe next time it won’t be an accident.

Final Thoughts: This show was freaking incredible. Not a bad match on here aside from maybe the Punk/Rave dog collar match, which I’m just not a fan of. Definitely one of the top shows of ROH in ’05, which is saying a whole heck of a lot. Thumbs WAY up for this show.


Posted on May 31, 2008, in NJPW, ROH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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