ROH: A Night of Appreciation (04.2002)

eddie

ROH: A Night of Appreciation
April 27, 2002
Philadelphia, PA
Murphy Rec Center

We see the Carnage Crew (HC Loc and Tony DeVito) getting together. HC Loc is the ref who got abused by the Natural Born Sinners on the first show. All I know about Tony DeVito is the jobber work he did on WWF TV in the 1990s. Anyways, they beat up a couple of ring crew guys and laugh it up.

Elsewhere, Quiet Storm wants to stretch Brian XL because he doesn’t like him. When Brian calls Storm a beeyotch, Chris Divine asks him what his problem is. This is Ring of Honor heat, bro.

Outside the Murphy Rec Center, Christopher Street Connection (wearing Da Hit Squad t-shirts) try to take over Da Hit Squad’s duty to hype the crowd before the show. As soon as Da Hit Squad find out and catch them making out, they chase these gay dudes back to NYC. For some reason, Dan Maff starts quoting Roddy Piper lines at the CSC.

Back to the Quiet Storm situation, he goes and finds American Dragon to teach his partner one of those freaky-looking submissions. While Brian XL is still talking crap, Dragon comes up behind him and stretches him real good.

Over in the Puerto Rican locker room, Tony DeVito enters the room on Da Hit Squad and Boogalou. He threatens Boogalou and walks out.

In other places, the old man from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission appears again to give the guys some details about who will be watching them tonight. How could they possibly care less? Eddie Guerrero gets a round of applause. This will be his last night in ROH and he’s already the WWF IC champ. The old man gives Spanky a hard time for wearing headphones while he’s talking. Anyways, this is a night of appreciation for Eddie Guerrero.

Your hosts are Donnie B and Steve Corino.

  • Da Hit Squad vs. Christopher Street Connection vs. Prince Nana & Simply Luscious (w/Elax)

This starts out as a rematch between DHS and CSC until Allison Danger walks out and makes this a three-way with Prince Nana and his servant Elax. I don’t know where these side angles are happening or if Eric Tuttle was just busy working a shift at the Boston Market down the street and Elax was free, but Elax is like the new Towel Boy for Prince Nana, I suppose. Nana avalanches and buttalanches Mafia down in the corner. One of the CSC guys does a bronco buster that was gayer than anything X-Pac ever did. Anyways, Allison Danger (who apparently plays for the other team) flirts with Simply Luscious for a few moments. This begins somewhat of a breakdown between Nana and CSC for some reason. Da Hit Squad spear the crap out of all four of them. Simply Luscious tries to get tough with them, but she’s destroyed with a Ron Simmons Spinebuster and the Burning Hammer from Mafia. He pins Luscious with a Road Warrior Hawk impression for the three-count. (5:19) This is the part of ROH that needs some desperate retooling. If they don’t want to appear like another ECW, get rid of these type matches and angles. After the bell, Elax gets squashed through a table. See what I mean? ¾*

  • Jay Briscoe (w/Mark Briscoe) vs. Tony Mamaluke

It’s only the third show and Jay now has two losses in ROH and Mark will not let him forget it and move on. Donnie B and Steve Corino make comments about Mamaluke wearing his FBI gear from ECW. No gimmicks allowed here! We get some decent mat work to start from these two. We see a possible homage from Briscoe as he delivers a snap suplex and spins his boot across Mamaluke’s face. Mamaluke goes after the arm with a quick Fujiwara armbar takedown. Release hammerlock northern lights suplex follows. Mamaluke switches gears and stretches Briscoe out on the mat. After a struggle in the corner, Briscoe comes out on top with a super sitout gourdbuster. Jay wins a chop battle and a rollup sequence follows that leads right into a J-DRILLER. Cover, 1-2-3! (7:22) Well, Mark doesn’t seem as pleased as you might think he would be. Hands are shaken, but Mamaluke flicks his chin at Briscoe. Pretty decent, but nothing spectacular. **

In the back, we see the Briscoe brothers embrace their parents. Jay and Mark start shoving one another like brothers will do!

When Tony Mamaluke comes through the curtain, James Maritato is there to give him the business about being a comedy act in ROH when he doesn’t need to. Not sure what he means by comedy act when he looked pretty serious out there to me. Anyways, Maritato tells Mamaluke he can do what he wants to do without him.

Elsewhere, York and Matthews tell us they are in FULL EFFECT~!

  • Christian York & Joey Matthews vs. Divine Storm (w/Brian XL)

Matthews and Quiet Storm do some feeling out bologna to start. York blind tags and missile dropkicks Storm down for two. Storm fires back with a pair of headscissors takedowns and tags out to Divine. It gets a little awkward as they go from corner to corner. York manages a pendulum submission on Divine. Storm breaks up the hold, but then gets a springboard back elbow to take him off the apron. Spinebuster by Divine turns things around for Divine Storm as they cut the ring in half on York. They go for Poetry in Motion, but York sees it coming and runs Storm down. York though takes a ride out to the floor. While Matthews comes over to check on him, the ref is distracted. Brian XL delivers a moonsault plancha to York! HEY, THAT’S CHEATING! Quiet Storm yells at Brian XL for breaking the code of honor. Back inside, York counter a top rope headscissors with a SUPER INVERTED ATOMIC DROP. Hot tag to Matthews, the match breaks down as Storm receives the FULL EFFECT finish. While York and Divine tumble out to the floor, Storm plays a little possum and starts throwing elbows on Matthews. When he calls out the name of his finisher, Matthews obviously manages to counter. Quiet Storm however ties Joey’s legs up in a submission for a tapout. (8:44) Maybe that was one of those weird submission holds Danielson showed him. Anywho, this was fine. I don’t love it, but it’s not the worst thing on the show. **

  • Xavier vs. Scoot Andrews vs. James Maritato

Maritato and Scoot pretty much ignore Xavier to start. He makes them pay attention to him when he dropkicks Maritato. He tries a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Andrews, but that gets blocked for a facebuster. Xavier tries his neckbreaker finish on Scoot. It looks like Andrews is trying to prevent the move when Maritato flips them over for some reason. From there, Scoot and Maritato try to give Xavier their finish. They all end up in the corner for a tower of doom spot. When they get back up, they pass around haymakers to each other until they go down again. Scoot steals a slingshot suplex away from Maritato and hits the FORCE OF NATURE on Xavier! That gets two. Nice powerslam by Andrews, but then we see a back suplex from Maritato. Scoot stops Xavier up top, but Maritato brings him down with a Russian legsweep. Xavier flies down onto Maritato, but he’s caught in a Fujiwara armbar for the tapout! (6:25) They packed a lot in a short amount of time. It didn’t seem to mean a whole lot though as I don’t think they had a clear story to tell. **

In the locker room, Simply Luscious approaches Rob Feinstein about wanting to be around better talent than Prince Nana. He has a better idea for her starting next month. You just have to trust him.

AJ Styles cuts a promo and it becomes abundantly clear why he wasn’t signed by WWF at the time. His southern accent is just so incredibly strong. He would have been put in a tag team called the New Godwinns with Hardcore Holly or somebody else that’s southern.

  • Low-Ki vs. AJ Styles

Certainly a dream match at the time. This is AJ Styles in his ROH debut. Some feeling out stuff to start leads to a kick battle. AJ wants Low Ki to BRING IT. Their kicks end up colliding and they go back to the mat. Chops are traded as they settle down for a moment. Ki lands a couple more kicks, but doesn’t see the Kip Up Headscissors coming. He runs down Low Ki with a lariat for two. AJ follows up with a suplex into a neckbreaker for another nearfall. He charges into a boot in the corner that knocks him silly. Ki delivers the Muta Elbow drop, but AJ takes a chop like a man and fires back with an enziguri. To the floor, Styles superkicks Ki into the guardrail. Donnie B brings up the fact that AJ is a born-again Christian and the name Low-Ki means “demon” to highlight a deep contrast between these two. I always thought Loki was just a Norse god, not a demon. Whatever. Back inside, Ki fires back with a Rolling Koppou Kick and yakuza kicks him out to the floor. When the Ki Krusher on the apron fails, Low Ki applies a DRAGON CLUTCH in the ropes! Inside the ring, the Running Ki Krusher gets countered to a DDT! Low Ki blocks a back suplex, but Styles finds the Quebrada DDT for 1-2-NO! Crowd really popped for that. Low Ki blocks a headscissors into a powerbomb and floats over for the pin for 1-2-NO! Next up, Low Ki grabs AJ by the hair and kicks his head all over the ring. VINTAGE LOW KI. Tiger Suplex by Low Ki only gets two as well. Styles cuts off Low Ki with a lariat and hits the Styles Suplex Special. Ki wins a suplex battle and lands the gourdbuster. Tidal Crush connects in the corner! He tries the Phoenix Splash, but AJ brings up the knees! Styles delivers the Cliffhanger DDT to Low Ki. Cover, 1-2-NO! SPIRAL TAP misses, but AJ blocks the Ki Krusher again. He wants another Cliffhanger DDT, but Low-Ki counters to a small package for 1-2-3! (18:14) Seemed like a silly finish and a good nearfall, but I guess they didn’t want to have AJ Styles lose completely clean if they have big plans for him. This was really good, but the point here was less about having a MOTYC and more about making sure Styles looked like he belonged with the best of the best in ROH by controlling a lot of the match and constantly avoiding the Ki Krusher finish. As you can maybe tell, Low Ki didn’t take this match to the heights that he did in his previous main events. ****

  • The Carnage Crew vs. The Ring Crew Express

Total squash match as DeVito and Loc take care of Dunn and Marcos with hardly even a fight. Carnage Crew delivers a SPLASH MOUNTAIN into a reverse neckbreaker as DeVito pins Marcos at 3:12. Look out, Natural Born Sinners.

  • Christopher Daniels vs. Donovan Morgan

This is APW brought to Philadelphia. Headlocks and hammerlocks to start. Daniels stuns Morgan with a back suplex and takes controls of the neck. Morgan counters a Northern lights suplex with a swinging neckbreaker. He returns the favor with some neck work of his own. Daniels fires back with a clothesline and a dropkick for two. Rollup sequence leads to a heel hook from Morgan, but Daniels makes the ropes. Morgan gets an overhead suplex, but then Daniels comes back with a release German suplex out of the corner. SUPLEXMANIA~! STO by Daniels sets up the BME for 1-2-NO! Over in the corner, Morgan avoids the Fall from Grace and leaps onto Daniels for a DDT. Awesome. Cover, 1-2-NO! Out of a rollup, Daniels kicks out and applies the LeBell Lock. Oh, but Morgan makes the ropes. Daniels looks for LAST RITES, but Morgan counters with the Golden Gate Swing for 1-2-NO! He catches Daniels with another Golden Gate Swing and this time gets the three-count. (13:13) Darn good little match there as they stayed on the neck. Not the psychological masterpiece we saw from Danielson last month, but still very good. Daniels admits that Morgan is the first opponent in ROH that has beaten him fair and square, but then refuses to shake his hand because the code of honor is a FARCE. Instead, Daniels offers to watch his back if he comes in contact with the likes of Low Ki or American Dragon. Morgan seems cool with that. ***¼

In the back, Spanky approaches his fellow TWA wrestlers and says they remind him of a bunch of “ding-a-ling jabronis”. They all get on his case for not respecting Rudy Boy Gonzalez when he is speaking.

  • Texas Wrestling Academy Gauntlet Match

Time to find out who is the best in the TWA. The five entrants are Spanky, American Dragon, Paul London, John Hope, and Michael Shane. The first match with Paul London and John Hope is clipped down to nothing. We see London bounce his head off the gym floor when he does a somersault dive on Hope. Nevertheless, London pins him (in Hope’s one and only ROH match) with the Shooting Star Press to advance. Simply Luscious joins us for commentary during this gauntlet.

Michael Shane is out next to face London. Shane counters a powerbomb into an X-Factor on London pretty quickly into this one. For you CRZ fans, YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN. London fires back with a headscissors and a dropsault for two. He connects with a Northern lights suplex, but then Shane comes off the ropes with a spear. Shane rolls through a Jack Brisco rollup in the corner and applies the bow and arrow stretch. NASTY! London reaches the ropes and manages an Implant Buster on Shane. Time for the Shooting Star Press, but Shane moves and delivers the Flying Elbow for the three-count at 3:42. Rather short, but who knows how long the London/Hope match went. *½

Up next is Spanky. Crowd is totally behind Spanky here. They slap the crap out of each other as ultimately Shane wins since Spanky is the disrespectful heel. Spanky bails to the floor and tries to catch Shane with a flying body press, but Shane dropkicks him in mid-air. Facebreaker off the shoulders sets up a running neckbreaker on Spanky for two. Meanwhile, Corino is using the “I’m a world champion” line on Luscious. Shane gets crotched up top allowing Spanky to bounce his face off the ringpost. On the floor, Spanky runs Shane’s face into the guardrail to bust him open. Spanky works the cut by running Shane in the ringpost. Back inside, Spanky stays on the cut kicking him in the face and throwing elbows. That serves to fire up Shane as he punches back and clotheslines Spanky over the top rope to the floor. Awesome. Shane bounces Spanky’s head off the guardrail as well. Back in, they run the ropes and Spanky pulls the top rope down for Shane to go falling out to the floor. Back in the ring, Spanky works the head and neck with a cravat. Shane avoids a corner charge though and connects with a flying corkscrew senton. As Spanky is punching the cut while Shane is on his knees, Shane gets hot again and tells Spanky to keep punching him, so Spanky obliges. Shane pops up with a clothesline and then delivers a backdrop. Spanky takes a ride out to the apron and tries to skin the cat, but Shane dropkicks him down to the floor. Somersault plancha by Shane! Back inside, Shane ducks an enziguri and Oklahoma rolls Spanky for two. Spanky fires back with a cravat facebuster out of the corner. Shane stops a superplex though and sets up for the Flying Elbow, but collapses on the mat due to the loss of blood. Cover by Spanky, that gets two. They trade finisher attempts until Shane hits the SUPERKICK for 1-2-NO! Spanky still manages to find SLICED BREAD #2 and gets the win at 10:07. Some cool moments here. Spanky did a decent job working the cut. I didn’t think he went too far with it and didn’t need to either. **½

So now we get Dragon vs. Spanky to wrap up things. Dragon is wearing long tights, which is very odd to see. Lots of mat stuff traded here, which is clearly to Dragon’s advantage since he’s better at mat wrestling and he hasn’t already wrestled ten minutes. Once he’s on his feet though, Spanky flips out of a German suplex and snaps American Dragon’s neck off the top rope Randy Savage style. Spanky crotches himself on a springboard or a slingshot move, but then takes Danielson to the apron and elbows him down to the floor. Back inside, Dragon surprises Spanky with a sunset flip only to get drilled with a clothesline. Danielson shows Spanky how what a cravat suplex is all about. An enziguri sends Spanky rolling to the apron, but then Danielson catches Spanky as he comes off the top. Dragon is a house of fire for a few moments. Spanky tries to hit a suplex, but can’t lift up Danielson because he’s so spent. He can hit a snap suplex though. Sliced Bread #2 gets countered by Danielson into a German suplex. Slow cover gets two. Dragon connects with a few strikes and delivers a nice powerbomb for two. Spanky still manages to get the SLICED BREAD #2, but Dragon kicks out at two. Dragon fires back with a Rolling Elbow and a DRAGON SUPLEX, but Spanky’s foot is on the ropes. Danielson wants the Back Superplex, but Spanky elbows him and lands the SLICED BREAD #2! Cover, 1-2-3! (13:41) I normally have no problem with guys doing the deed for other guys, but Danielson just beat the top guy in ROH last month and now he’s losing clean to Spanky? Okay then. Spanky declares himself the new Showstopper to which the commentators go nuts over. The mic keeps going out on Danielson when Christopher Daniels walks out and announces he will be in the Road to the Title tournament in June. Scoot Andrews interrupts and tells us the same thing. Now that they get under each other’s skin, they will meet in the first round. Xavier comes out, Jay Briscoe comes out, Prince Nana comes out, Low Ki comes out. I’m losing interest. Everybody seems to have a problem with each other and they all want to be champion, but there can only be one. The match, however, was pretty sloppy and a clash of styles in many ways. **

Before we head to the main event, Donnie B announces four tournaments will take place at the next ROH show where the winners will meet in a 60-minute ironman match on the following show.

  • Eddie Guerrero & Amazing Red vs. The SAT

So Amazing Red gets the best partner he will ever have tonight against the Maximos. Naturally, Eddie gets a ton of love. By the way, he is already the WWF IC champ. Jose and Red start out with a bunch of rope running and headscissoring. Eddie tags in and tosses Red into Jose for a headscissors takedown. Joel runs in only to take a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Eddie as the SAT take a powder. Back in, Joel and Eddie do the headlock and shoulderblock routine. Joel snaps off a headscissors, but then Eddie rolls through a sunset flip and applies a Sharpshooter. When Joel makes the ropes, Guerrero delivers the back suplex and hilo for two. Joel escapes a headlock and backdrops Eddie down. Over in the SAT corner, they stretch Eddie with a surfboard/dragon sleeper combo. Jose gives Eddie a couple of suplexes, but then Guerrero stops him up top and brings him down with a superplex. Tag to Red, he delivers a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Joel for two. RED STAR PRESS, but only gets two. Too soon for the finisher though, bro. Joel stuns Red by blocking a headscissors with a powerbomb. Now Red gets caught on the wrong side of town. Eventually, Red catches Joel with a corkscrew roundhouse kick as he comes off the second rope. Hot tag to Eddie, he hits Jose with the Brainbuster. He looks for SPLASH MOUNTAIN, but Jose counters with a hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Eddie cuts off Jose with a clothesline and heads up top, but the SAT stop him and look for the SPANISH FLY! Red saves the day by sending Joel down to the floor with a dropkick. He follows Joel out with a sloppy corkscrew pescado. Meanwhile, Jose blocks the top rope headscissors from Eddie and tries the Tornado DDT on the master, but no dice. Eddie sets him back on the turnbuckle and ALLEY OOPS Red onto Jose for a headscissors! Red takes out Joel again this time with a somersault plancha. Now Eddie can deliver the FROG SPLASH in peace. Crowd is going NUTS. Nope. Jose moves and Guerrero rolls passed him. He settles for SPLASH MOUNTAIN instead and scores the pinfall on Jose. (13:35) Makes you wonder how much hand Eddie might have had in formulating this match because there was more structure and a lack of nonsense that we are used to seeing from the SAT. Eddie is the man. If he’s not the greatest ever, he’s top three or top five. ***¼

Final Thoughts: The trend continues where the top talent puts on good to great matches, but the rest of the show feels either outdated (like Da Hit Squad and Carnage Crew) or just disappointing (the TWA gauntlet). Thumbs in the middle for Night of Appreciation as I think there’s a handful of goodness, but there are some trying times where you’ll be tempted to hit that FFWD button.

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Posted on May 15, 2015, in ROH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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