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Ring of Honor's Crowning a Champion
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Aug 2, 2003, 11:05

ROH Crowning a Champion
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins

Better late than never, I say. As always, this is available at

Low Ki cuts a promo, discussing his ROH career. The three way vs. American Dragon and Christopher Daniels at The Era of Honor Begins. The Round Robin Challenge, including one of the most memorable matches of his life vs. Dragon. A Night of Appreciation, where Low Ki got a win over AJ Styles (his opponent next month in Boston). And at Road to the Title, an excellent match with The Amazing Red. And then Daniels found out what happens when Low Ki gets pushed too far. He was serious when he said that Daniels will win the title over Low Ki's dead body. So tonight, he'll face three of the best in a one hour Ironman Match, and all they can do is be ready.

Crowning a Ring of Honor Champion
from the Murphy Recreation Center in Philadelphia, PA
July 27, 2002

Here's a montage showing how everybody advanced to this point in the tournament.

Steve Corino (w/Simply Luscious) cuts a promo, saying the big question is "What's going on between Corino and Luscious?" When they were together, the sparks were flying. She wanted the "King of Old School" because she's a winner, and so is he. She's been treated unfairly since she came to Ring of Honor. What she does with the Prophecy is business, their relationship is personal. Apparently Corino is the best broadcast journalist and kisser in ROH, but Daniels is the best wrestler, says Luscious.

The Christopher Street Connection is backstage eating bananas, when some music conveniently plays. There you see Brian XL and a couple of guys dancing.

Still backstage, as Tony Mamaluke asks James Maritato if he has any FBI shirts left. The gimmick is dead, says the future Nunzio, and they run into the Natural Born Sinners, who challenge Maritato and Mamaluke for Boston next month. It's accepted, but Mamaluke still wants to know about those shirts.

Jeremy Lopez vs. Tony Mamaluke

Lopez is best known for his work in NWA Wildside, holding the Junior Heavyweight Championship. These two men have a common bond in that they were both trained by Dean Malenko. Donnie B and Steve Corino are your hosts as they lock up. Some solid mat wrestling leading to a stalemate. Arm wringer into a wristlock by Lopez. Reversal, but Lopez takes Mamaluke down and locks in a bow-and-arrow, but Mamaluke turns it into a cover for 2. Snap mare followed by a dropkick by Lopez. Headlock takedown by Mamaluke. Lopez counters with a headscissors, then it's another headlock by Mamaluke. Lopez rolls him over for a two count. Lopez counters with a headscissors. Lockup, Lopez with a headlock, thrown into the ropes, shoulderblock. Mamaluke regains the advantage, drapes Lopez's neck over the bottom rope, then hits a slingshot legdrop. Camel clutch. Lopez blocks a belly-to-back suplex and takes Mamaluke down with a hard forearm that's good for 2. Flying neckbreaker for 2. Lopez places Mamaluke on the top turnbuckle, but Mamaluke takes him down with a tornado DDT. Mamaluke covers for a series of two counts. Lopez locks Mamaluke into a crippler crossface, and Mamaluke makes it to the ropes for a break. Lopez with chops in the corner. Mamaluke comes back with a hiptoss and locks in a short arm scissors. Lopez rolls him onto his shoulders for 2. And again. Then Lopez picks him up and takes him down with almost an electric chair. Series of forearms and a corner whip, but Mamaluke lifts the boot. Tornado DDT, but Lopez counters, and Lopez then does a double underhook tornado DDT. Tiger bomb for 2. A series of German suplex counters, and Mamaluke locks in a double underhook DDT, then holds on for a submission victory at 7:24. Good enough to get the crowd into it. **

Divine Storm are talking, but they are interrupted by the Christopher Street Connection asking if they want a bite out of their banana. They're disgusted as the CSC says they have a new member of their crew.

Prince Nana and Jacobs Ladder vs. Christian York and Joey Matthews (w/Alexis Laree)

The crowd chants "Low Ki killed you" prior to the match, directed at Nana after having his match with Low Ki stopped last month. Nana is still suffering from a concussion and claims that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission won't let anybody hit him in the head during this match. They shake on it, but Nana and Ladder immediately get a cheap shot on York and Matthews. The heels take control, and Ladder takes York down with a full nelson slam. A couple of avalances to Matthews by Nana, but here comes York with shots to Nana and Ladder. A double team, and an enzuigiri to Nana's head, and Nana bails out...and heads to the locker room. Three partners in four months? That's like baseball teams to Roberto Alomar. That leaves Ladder by himself to get double teamed and pinned by a York flying legdrop at 1:46. 1/2*

Backstage, the CSC is checking to see if Nana's head is alright. Nana yells at them to stay away as "YMCA" conveniently plays on the PA, and here come the CSC (w/Allison Danger). Buff E kisses a man or two in the crowd, and we clip to the CSC standing in the ring with York and Matthews. The sound isn't great, but as far as I can tell they're flirting with York and Matthews. Danger says they're not butch enough for the CSC, but she finds Laree hot. Laree hits Danger, one of the CSC hits Laree, and we begin a six person brawl. Laree spears Danger and hits her with a series of punches before starting to choke her out. The CSC comes in to break it up, and Danger puts some sparkles on her hand and spanks Laree, leaving her brand on Laree's ass.

Earlier today, a van pulled into the Murphy Rec Center, and it's members of the Texas Wrestling Academy arriving after a long drive. Don Juan says it was only a 25-hour drive, not a 26-hour drive as hyped, and Michael Shane tells him to shut up and heads inside. The rest of the students complain about Shane's attitude.

Winner of the fall to receive a Ring of Honor contract: Michael Shane and Bio-Hazard vs. Paul London and Don Juan (with Rudy Boy Gonzalez at ringside)

The significance of "winning" an ROH contract, at least storyline-wise, is that ROH pays for transportation for all of its contracted wrestlers, and thus there are no more 26-hour drives from San Antonio. A TWA chant breaks out during the prematch handshake. London and Bio-Hazard start. Bio-Hazard immediately tags out to Shane, who has a beef from London from previous ROH shows. Shane into a front facelock, but London breaks out of it with an arm wringer and locks in a side headlock. Throw-off by Shane, but London gets a couple of armdrags in. Shane heads to the floor, but London jumps onto him and Bio-Hazard. Back into the ring, tag to Don Juan, and Shane works Juan over. Juan comes off with a flying forearm and a clothesline and covers for 2. London back in, but Shane is able to take him down with a belly-to-belly suplex into the turnbuckle for 2. Tag to Bio-Hazard, who pounds away at London. High angle backdrop suplex for 2. London comes back with an elbow and a huge flying headscissors. Juan tags in and gets a sunset flip for 2. Northern Lights suplex by Bio-Hazard for 2. Shane tags in and chops away. Superplex for 2. Tag to Bio-Hazard, who hits a rolling neck snap off the second turnbuckle. Shane tags himself in and covers for 2. Tag to Bio-Hazard, who uses a couple of right hands. Rolling front slam into a moonsault, but Don Juan gets the knees up. Tags to Shane and London, and London takes the advantage. Bio-Hazard in as well, and London does his dropkick with a backflip to Shane, landing on top of Bio-Hazard for a two count. Wow! All four men in the ring now. London with a front slam to Shane, and a moonsault for 2. Corner whip and a charge, but Shane hits him with a superkick for 2. Again all four men are in the ring. Bio-Hazard misses the flying rolling neck snap and gets a dropkick from London for his troubles. London goes for...some type of headscissors, I guess...and Shane clotheslines him, which puts London's shoulders on the mat for 2 but also hurts Bio-Hazard in the process. Shane locks London in a version of the Lasso from El Paso, but Juan makes the save with a legdrop. Bio-Hazard kicks away at Juan, but Juan kicks him and covers. Shane off top for the Picture Perfect Elbow for the save, but Juan breaks the cover and Shane hits Bio-Hazard. Cover for 2, and London pulls Juan off because he wants the contract. Shane with an enzuigiri to the face on Juan as London gets a legsweep DDT to Bio-Hazard, and they both gets covers...and 8:31. The referee awards the win and contract to Michael Shane, and the crowd is NOT happy, as they start a bullshit chant. Neither am I...because Shane and London were the legal men. Other than that, some good stuff here. **1/2

Postmatch, Michael Shane has some words for Spanky, saying that even though he's in tonight's main event, he'll never be as good as Shane. "There's only one showstopper in ROH, and you people in this arena are looking at him." London takes exception to that, saying Shane calling himself the showstopper is a slap to his face. Shane shows him what a slap to the face actually feels like, and it's on! Leg lariat by London, followed by a missed shooting star press. Shane clotheslines London, then heads up top...and misses the Picture Perfect Elbow. London charges Shane, but Rudy Boy and the rest of TWA students run in to keep them separated. An angry Rudy Boy grabs the microphone and orders both of them to go to the back right now. We follow them to the back, as the continue to argue. Shane tries to slap London, and once again the TWA contingent keeps them separated. Rudy Boy says he'll talk to Gabe about booking them one-on-one for Boston next month, and Shane goes "It's about time I got a singles match!"

Divine Storm vs. Da Hit Squad

This was set up at Road to the Title when DHS called themselves ROH's top tag team, which led to Divine Storm disputing that claim, which in turn led to every team in ROH getting involved in a brawl that was so long it was clipped and still lsted nearly ten minutes. A huge argument during the obligatory prematch handshake, and we begin with a four way brawl. Quiet Storm blocks a clothesline into a Fujiwara armbar. A series of forearms, but he runs into a Monsta Mack belly-to-belly suplex. Chris Divine counters a Burning Hammer into a Death Valley Driver and covers for 2. Spinebuster slam for 2. Corner whip and a running forearm, but Mafia throws Divine off during a Diamond Cutter attempt. Corner whip, and Monsta Mack whips Mafia into Divine. Suplex, frog splash, and in comes Quiet Storm for a save. Storm lands a frog splash on Mafia for 2. Top rope Ace crusher for 2. Divine avoids another Burning Hammer but gets caught in a double team. A spear to Quiet Storm sends two men to the floor. Huge bely-to-belly by Divine, and a headscissors is botched but improvised into an armdrag. Divine gets caught by Monsta Mack and power bombed, and that's enough for the pin at 4:34. *1/2

Xavier is backstage, and he shakes Low Ki's hand, wishes him luck, and asks to be remembered when it comes time to award the first title shot.

Jay Briscoe (w/Mark Briscoe) vs. James Maritato

For those of you who haven't followed the first few reports, Mark Briscoe has been chastising brother Jay since the first show for having a so-so win/loss record and not looking that good even when he's victorious. Of course, at this point Mark is still under 18 years of age and therefore cannot wrestle in Pennsylvania or have sex with a college chick. Feeling out process to start. Mini wrestling sequence, and Briscoe gets in an armdrag and a headscissors. Full nelson into a hammerlock by Maritato, and Briscoe counters into a headlock. Maritato reverses. Another mini wrestling sequence, and Briscoe gets a single-leg takedown in before locking in a spinning toehold. Both men back to their feet. Forearms by Briscoe. Briscoe goes for something out of a fireman's carry, but Maritato counters with a Fujiwara armbar. Briscoe locks in a version of the crippler crossface. Texas cloverleaf, but Maritato counters it into a small package for 2. Mark Briscoe seems disgusted, and Jay questions his reaction, but Maritato takes Jay down with a leg dive into a cross armbreaker. A counter sequence ends with Briscoe hitting a twisting Ace crusher for 2. Brisoce tries to go up top, Maritato follows him up, Briscoe knocks Maritato down, and he leaps off the ropes, but Maritato catches him with a clothesline for 2. Maritato hits another cross armbreaker, but Briscoe reaches the ropes. Briscoe misses a dropkick, but Maritato misses a splash. Forearms to the back. Death Valley Driver. Dropkick for 2. Face-first electric chair. Both men up top. Maritato tosses Briscoe off and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Both men up top again, and Maritato wants a superplex, but Briscoe counters it into a top-rope gourdbuster and covers for 2. A running power bomb is nearly blocked, and Maritato recovers first and hits a dropkick to Briscoe's face for 2. Sicilian Slice for 2. Briscoe tries for a reverse neckbreaker, but Maritato counters into position for the Kiss of Death, which Briscoe avoids. Swinging DDT by Briscoe for 2. Suddenly, Mark Briscoe heads to the locker room in disgust and flips Jay off. Maritato takes advantage of the distraction to hit the Kiss of Death for the pin at 8:30. **1/4

Christopher Daniels is backstage with Simply Luscious, and he says there's no doubt he's the best in Ring of Honor because he's the only one who hasn't fallen in line with the farcical Code of Honor. After all, it took two men to beat him at the Era of Honor Begins. Was that honorable? No. Then at Round Robin Challenge, Low Ki beat Daniels, but Daniels had already wrestled when Low Ki hadn't. Was that honorable? No. That's when the Prophecy was formed "to bring the truth to the non-believers". And the first night out, they tried to destroy the Prophecy, putting Simply Luscious against Sumie Sakai with no notice. So tonight, the mission to bring down Ring of Honor will be complete, because what better way to rebuild ROH in his own image than by winning the ROH Championship? He will not follow the Code of Honor. The first target of the Prophecy: Low Ki. Tonight, Low Ki pays for his sins in the Ironman Match.

Backstage, Doug Williams stretches out Elax and says that's what's going to happen to Low Ki, Daniels, and Spanky.

Bunkhouse Match: The Natural Born Sinners vs. The Carnage Crew

The Story So Far: At the Era of Honor Begins, H.C. Loc was the referee for the Natural Born Sinners' match against The Boogie Knights and disqualified the Sinners for using a rubber chicken. The angry Sinners destroyed Loc after the match. Loc gained a measure of revenge at Road to the Title, when Loc and Tony DeVito appeared wielding hubcaps during the tag team brawl that wouldn't end. The Code of Honor does not apply for this, ROH's first hardcore style match.

No flashy entrances here, just the Sinners going to work on the Carnage Crew early. Homicide uses a bulletproof vest on DeVito, and I think I've truly seen everything at this point. DeVito sends Homicide's face into some barbed wire that is set up against the turnbuckle. Homicide wastes little time in returning the favor. Then Homicide sticks a fork into DeVito's forehead. Loc takes Homicide down with a waistlock suplex, and Boogalou quickly gets in a release German to Loc. DeVito levels Homicide with a chair on the outside. A bloody Homicide returns the favor. Loc uses a cowbell on Boogalou in the ring while Homicide and DeVito keep using chairs on the floor. Boogalou returns the cowbell shot to Loc's head. DeVito gets in another hard chair shot. Homicide and DeVito are back on the floor, and they've broken through the guardrail and start brawling into the crowd. Boogalou follows them to the floor and starts headbutting DeVito. DeVito quickly takes Boogalou down with a series of chair shots. Is that a belt buckle Homicide's using? Homicide whips Loc and DeVito with a weightlifting belt, while Boogalou starts driving a chair into Loc's midsection. DeVito tries a wrestling maneuver, a dropkick, but misses. Homicide hits a Shining Wizard and covers for 2. Homicide wants the Cop Killer, but DeVito lands behind Homicide, hits a couple of clotheslines, and then simply backdrops Homicide into a chair leaning against the barbed wire-covered turnbuckle. DeVito unwraps the barbed wire from the turnbuckle and hits Homicide with it, then he wraps it around Homicide. DeVito up top... moonsault, but he hurts himself on the barbed wire. I've stopped wondering why you'd do such a stupid move. DeVito finally covers, but Boogalou makes the save. Loc tries to suplex Loc, but Homicide counters with an Ace crusher. Boogalou wraps the barbed wire around his own arm and clothesline DeVito. Homicide sets Loc up in the floor and dives to the floor, breaking the guardrail in the process. In the ring, Boogalou puts the barbed wire into DeVito's mouth and pulls back, forcing DeVito to submit at 9:36. A boring brawl early, but it picked up in the second half. *1/2 Postmatch, the Carnage Crew grabs their hubcaps and repeatedly beat the hell out of the Sinners before Da Hit Squad runs in for the save. Clip to DHS helping the Sinners to their feet, but Homicide pushes them away and yells "I don't need your fucking help!"

Spanky is backstage before the show, and he sees Christopher Daniels. This leads to a promo about the main event tonight. Williams has the size advantage and the British style. You've got Daniels with the international experience. Low Ki "might look like Nosferatu", but he has killer kicks. Spanky...he's got nothing...but the only time he faced Daniels, he beat him. The only time he faced Low Ki, he beat him. He never wrestled Williams, but he was trained by Steven Regal and Robbie Brookside. But Spanky's got heart. Have they ever slept in cars with no food in their stomachs like Spanky has done for three years? Traveling from territory to territory just to become a successful wrestler? Sure, his opponents have given their bodies for the sport. But how many have given their soul?

The Boogie Knights are concerned because they have a six man tag tonight, but Danny Drake is hurt. Rob Feinstein tells Mike Tobin that his partners will be Dunn and Marcos.

Three Way Dance for the NWATNA X Division Championship: Adam Jacobs vs. David Young vs. AJ Styles

All three of these men are based out of NWA Wildside and have had their histories intermingled. This is to show that ROH has an open door policy when it comes to champions of other organizations defending their titles. Young starts brawling with both men. Jacobs starts off fast and goes after Styles, but he ends up jumping into Young's power bomb, but Young gets met with a Styles kick to the face. Styles blocks a Young spinebuster attempt and gets some knees and chops in, but Young gets Styles down with a rana. Jacobs takes Young down with a botched neckbreaker. Young backdrops Jacobs, who lands on the ring apron. Styles and Young do a reversal sequence, and Jacobs flips into a sunset flip on Young, who maintains his grip on Styles for a release German suplex. Young is covered for 2 out of that sweet as hell move. Jacobs sends Young to the floor, but Styles hits Jacobs with an enzuigiri to the face. Styles tries to Asai moonsault Young on the floor, but Young moves. Styles lands on his feet but gets his face driven into the apron. Young connects the Asai moonsault. Jacobs signals for a dive and takes Young down with a somersault plancha. Styles is bleeding from the forehead as Jacobs rolls Young into the ring and covers for 2. They trade punches, but they both punch Styles when he reenters the ring. Double whip, and Styles takes them down with a double neck wrecker and covers each man for 2. Styles punches Jacobs in the corner, backflips off of Jacobs, but Young catches Styles with a release German suplex before catching Jacobs coming in with a powerslam. Young up top, Styles grabs him for a Styles Clash, but Jacobs dropkicks Young in the face. Jacobs kicks Styles in the chest, and they're both up top, but Jacobs gets knocked off the top rope and into Young's spinebuster. Styles then does a front flip off the top to take Young down with a rana. Styles covers Young for 2. Corner whip, reversal, Young misses a dropkick, and Styles comes off the top for the Spiral Tap (called a "thingamajiggie" by Donnie B) to eliminate Young at 5:30. A series of kicks by Jacobs, followed by a superkick for 2. Uppercut. Styles comes back with a flying forearm. Chop. A series of reversals leads to Jacobs getting a tornado DDT for 2. Jacobs goes for a rana, but Styles counters it into a form of a Boston crab. Backbreaker. Styles up top, but Jacobs crotches him on the buckle. Jacobs goes for a top-rope rana, but Styles counters it into a top-rope Styles Clash for the pin at 7:58. Good stuff despite the blown spots. **1/2, but would have been higher had ever hit cleanly.

Stephen DiAngelis announces the next Philly show for September 21, featuring Steve Corino and the ROH Tag Team Title tournament, plus Michael Modest in action, but here is Rudy Boy Gonzalez to thank the fans for accepting the TWA students, and now onto Steve Corino. He's heard all the insults Corino's made on commentary, and "Steve Corino, I'm going to kick your ass!" And he'll bring his students and kicks his ass some more. So on September 21, it's Steve Corino...vs. The American Dragon.

Dunn, Marcos, and Mike Tobin (w/Danny Drake) vs. Black Gordman Jr., Brian XL, and Dixie

Match is clipped to the very bare bones, as XL and Dixie turn on Gordman, which leads to Dunn pinning Gordman with a flying legdrop in :52 shown. No rating. Postmatch, we've got a huge celebration, but Tobin isn't happy with it...and here comes an unnamed black man resembling Lennox Lewis (who we now know is Slugger), and he takes down all of the winners before going after the wheelchair bound Drake. Then Slugger takes his spot at the back of the building.

DeVito is backstage, and he's pissed at DHS for interfering in their match tonight, so he challenges them to a Boston Massacre Match next month.

Xavier vs. "The Black Nature Boy" Scott Andrews

The Story so Far: At the Era of Honor Begins, Xavier upset Andrews even after he took the Force of Nature. At a Night of Appreciation, Scott once again hit the Force of Nature on Xavier, but this was a three way, and James Maritato was the one who made Xavier tap out. Andrews has vowed to leave ROH if he loses this match.

Andrews gets a roll up in off of the handshake for 2. Drop toehold and a magistral cradle for 2. Corner whip, clothesline. And again. CLIP to Andrews hitting a dropkick for 2. CLIP to Xavier chopping away at Andrews. Off the ropes, but Andrews tosses him over the top rope. CLIP to Andrews ramming Xavier into the ringpost. And then into the guardrail. CLIP to another guardrail shot. CLIP to ANOTHER guardrail shot. CLIP to Andrews punching away at a bloody Xavier inside the ring. Jumping leg lariat for 2. Tiger bomb for 2. Scoot calls for the Force of Nature, but Xavier counters it into a rolling cradle for 2. Chops. Running forearm smash for 2. A series of punches. Xavier rams Andrews into the top turnbuckle and drives a series of knees into the midsection. Splash mountain for 2. Another cover, another 2 count. European uppercut. Xavier goes for the X-Breaker, but Andrews counters it into an inverted power bomb and covers for 2. Andrews misses a dropkick. Xavier into Kiss Your X Goodbye (kind of a pumphandle piledriver), but he can only get 2. A couple of punches, and Xavier gets a moonsault bodyblock (that I think Andrews was supposed to counter) for 2. Andrews counters a clothesline into the Force of Nature for the pin at 5:07 shown. What airs is worth about **.

Four Way One Hour Ironman Match to determine the first Ring of Honor Champion: Low Ki vs. Spanky vs. Doug Williams vs. "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels (w/Simply Luscious)

How They Got Here: All four wrestlers were part of the Road to the Title show to determine the finalists. Low Ki defeated Prince Nana and The Amazing Red. Spanky defeated Paul London and Jody Fleisch. Williams defeated Jay Briscoe and The American Dragon. Daniels beat Scoot Andrews and AJ Styles.

Things to watch for: One side story to keep an eye on here is the ongoing feud between Daniels and Low Ki, as most recently, Low Ki locked Daniels in a dragon clutch and refused to let go. Also bear in mind that there is no air conditioning in the Murphy Rec Center, so the temperature inside the building is nearing 100 degrees.

The Rules: This is a one hour match, but rather than do this strictly by the number of falls won, it's done on a points system. You get 2 points for winning a fall, and you lose a point for losing a fall.

NWATNA/boxing-style introductions for this one just to make this seem more important. Referee Paul Turner even holds the title up for the crowd to see. This is old school if you forget it's a four way match for a minute.

First Fall: Daniels and Low Ki start. But Daniels immediately tags out to Doug Williams. Low Ki misses an enzuigiri right away, and Williams locks in a form of an Indian deathlock and slaps away at Low Ki. Add in a forearm, and then it's a double underhook submission while still in the leglock. Low Ki rolls out of it and hooks in an armbar. Williams out of it with an armdrag takedown into an armbar. Low Ki works out of it into a handstand anklescissors. Armbar by Williams. Ki hiptosses out of it, but Williams hangs on to the armbar. Low Ki kicks Williams in the head to try to keep out of it. Another armdrag by Low Ki, but again Williams hangs on. Low Ki tries to go for a flying headscissors, but Williams tosses him and still maintains the armbar. Ki tries to chop out of it and finally reverses the hold into a top wristlock. Williams hiptosses out of it. Bodyscissors, and he turns it'll call it a crab submission since Low Ki looks like a crab in the hold. Ki headbutts out of it and gets a double leg cradle for the first two count of the contest. Low Ki tags in Spanky. Williams locks both of Spanky's arms around his own neck. And adding a knee to the back for leverage. Spanky rams Williams into the turnbuckle, but Williams hangs on, so Spanky does a nice counter to reverse the hold, and Williams gets a modified hiptoss to take Spanky down. 55:00 remain.

Spanky with a drop toehold into a side headlock, but Williams counters it into a front facelock. Spanky counters it into an armbar. Back to the corner, and Daniels tags himself in and locks Williams in an armbar. Williams reverses into a standing wristlock. Daniels reverses, Williams reverses, Daniels reverses again, and Williams tries to roll through into a break, but Daniels rolls with him and maintains the hold. Wow! Williams rolls out into a hammerlock. Williams rams Daniels' shoulder into the tuurnbuckle and maintains the hammerlock. Daniels lifts Williams off the mat for a backdrop, but Williams rolls into a sunset flip for 2. Arm wringer. Williams tags Spanky, and he locks Daniels in an armbar. Knee to the arm, and then Spanky does a rolling hammerlock. Turning it into a chickenwing, and then a side headlock. Off the ropes with a shoulderblock, and then back to the headlock. Daniels flips Spanky over, but Spanky goes right back to the headlock. Shoulders down...2 count. Off the ropes, shoulderblock. Daniels with a kick to the midsection, but Spanky armdrags him and goes back to the headlock...and Daniels counters with the back suplex. Elbow to the back of the head. Elbow, kick, and a forearm, all to the back of the head, and he gets a shot in for Low Ki on the apron. That's a tag, so Low Ki kicks Spanky. Double chop. Again. Snap mare into a figure-four sleeper. Spanky out of it, and he slams Low Ki's knee to the mat and then snaps it back. A couple of stomps to the knee. 50:00 remain.

Spanky tags out to Williams. Williams takes Ki down with a leg dive and locks in a toehold. Into another Indian deathlock, and he STANDS UP with it. Low Ki tries to chop out of it, but Williams uses forearms to keep him down. An exchange of chops with Low Ki still locked in the hold, and Williams peppers him with forearms. He finally releases the hold and snaps Low Ki's leg...and Daniels takes advantage of Low Ki being hurt and tags himself in. And he stomps the leg before getting a spinning toehold and dropping down on him. A series of kicks to the knee. Low Ki punches back, but Daniels rakes the eyes and immediately tags out to Spanky. And now Spanky goes to work on Low Ki's leg. Leg scissors. Low Ki turns it into a dragon clutch, who immediately rolls out of it. Daniels tags himself in and attacks Low Ki from behind. Daniels goes for a slam, but Low Ki lands behind him and chops away. Daniels with an uppercut and a headbutt. Daniels with a forearm, but Low Ki backs into Williams' corner and tags out, which has Daniels begging off. Kicks and forearms by Daniels. Headbutt. Forearm. A series of chops. Williams comes back with forearms. Cross armbreaker, and Williams continues to focus on Daniels' left arm. Into an armbar. European uppercut. Whip, but Daniels with a kick to the chest and a cheap shot for Low Ki. Forearms to Williams, but Williams reverses the whip and hits a clothesline for 2. Tag to Spanky. Spanky works over Daniels' left arm. Hard forearm smash, and Spanly takes Daniels down with an armdrag takedown. Short arm scissors. 45:00 remain.

Daniels rolls over into a cover for 2. Spanky with a whip, but Daniels gets a swinging neckbreaker. Into a combination reverse DDT/neckbreaker for 2. Daniels tags Williams. Williams locks a form of a surfboard. Spanky out of it, and he tags in Low Ki. Chops by Low Ki. Snap mare into a reverse chinlock. Williams breaks with a jawbreaker. Double-leg takedown into a toehold. Low Ki with kicks to the back, but Williams drops his knee onto Low Ki's leg. Leg scissors by Williams. Kicks and chops by Low Ki, but it takes an elbow to the leg to break the hold. In comes Daniels illegally to get some blows in to Low Ki. Williams with a kick to the knee and then into the Torture Device (Williams has Low Ki's knee over the back of Williams' head and stands up with it) before throwing Low Ki to the mat. Williams tags in Spanky. Spanky attacks the good leg, but Low Ki keeps getting some strikes into Spanky. Spanky with a dropkick to the knee for 2. Kneebreaker. Elbowdrops to the leg. Low Ki counters with a roundhouse kick from a laying down position. Another one. 40:00 remain.

Low Ki whips Spanky into the corner, and Daniels lifts his foot, so Spanky runs into a kick to the head. Low Ki covers for 2. Snap mare into a rolling neck snap for 2. Low Ki drops Spanky stomach first onto the top rope and kicks Spanky in the face, and somehow Spanky gets back into the ring. Daniels tags himself in, cheap shots Low Ki, then goes after Spanky. Spanky punching out of it. Headbutt by Daniels. Brain buster for 2. Rolling chinlock. Spanky gets out of it and is immediately into an armbar. Daniels counters with a roll up for 2, then goes right to the headbutt. Crevatte. Spanky with punches, but Daniels with a whip and a shoulderblock. Kick to the midsection by Spanky, and he hits a facebreaker out of an Ace crusher position. Spanky tags Low Ki, and Daniels tries to tag Williams, but Williams hops off the apron and forces Daniels to remain in the ring. Low Ki chops away at Daniels. Koppo kick. Kicks to the chest. Daniels ducks a kick and chop blocks Low Ki's knee. Headbutt. Cover for 2. They exchange chops, but Daniels rakes the eyes. Low Ki goes for a German suplex, but Spanky comes off the top with a dropkick, which Daniels avoids but Low Ki doesn't. Daniels sets up the Last Rites, but Williams comes off with a flying clothesline. All four in the ring, and Williams gets a swinging DDT to Daniels. Spanky with Sliced Bread #2 to Williams, and Low Ki with a release tiger suplex to Spanky. Daniels brings Low Ki down with an inverted legsweep, and all four men are down as the crowd erupts. 35:00 remain.

Spanky and Williams get sent out of the ring, and Low Ki comes in for the Tidal Crush...and Daniels chop blocks him again. Last Rites, pin at 25:30. Daniels 2, Spanky 0, Williams 0, Low Ki -1

Second Fall: Sean Hansen takes over refereeing duties. Daniels realizes it's an Ironman Match and tries to cover, but Spanky makes the save. Spanky drags Low Ki to the corner and tags himself in. Running forearm by Spanky. Irish whip, leg lariat, 2 count. Waistlock suplex for 2. Low Ki is down on the floor as Daniels pulls Spanky to the mat by his hair and tags in Williams. Williams with a crevatte, then into a front facelock. Then into a chinlock. Kneedrop for 2. Spanky comes back with a knee to the face and tags Daniels. Daniels with a dropkick. Williams blocks a suplex and takes Daniels down with an armbar submission. Daniels to the ropes for the break. Williams with a series of knees to the shoulder before leaving the knee there for a submission hold. Tag to Spanky. Corner whip, Daniels with a boot to the face and a DDT. Delayed cover for 2. Snap mare into a neck vice. Spanky turns it into a Fujiwara armbar. 30:00 remain.

Daniels breaks the hold with an elbow. Williams tags in and gets a backflip into an arm submission, then he hooks both arms into a submission. Daniels to the ropes, and he tries to punch out. Elbows and forearms to the head. Corner whip, and Williams avoids a charge. Cross armbreaker by Williams. Daniels is out of it and into a chinlock. Rabbit punches, Williams punching back, and Daniels into the eyes. Nice spinebuster by Daniels. Tag to Spanky, who covers Williams for a series of 2 counts. Spanky even tries to stand on Williams' arms to keep the shoulders down. Williams gets in an Ace crusher and goes into a figure-four sleeper. Daniels breaks the hold to prevent the fall, and an angry Williams tags Daniels in. Daniels takes Spanky down with a side slam. Low Ki's back to the apron, but Daniels knocks him off. Whip, but he ducks his head, and Spanky takes him down with a Russian legsweep for 2. Neckbreaker, and a tag to Williams, who kneedrops Daniels. Daniels gets a front facelock and a couple of blows in, but Williams locks in a top wristlock. 25:00 remain.

Daniels rolls it over into a 2 count. Williams with a clothesline for 2. Daniels tags Spanky. Spanky avoids a suplex and gets a version of the shining wizard, and then Daniels tags himself back in. Backbreaker, and Spanky flips in to legdrop Williams. Williams with knees for both men and a belly-to-belly suplex for Daniels. Williams with a Chaos Theory to Spanky, but Daniels makes the save. Williams goes for the Chaos Theory, but Daniels avoids it, and he gets the inverted Russian legsweep and turns it into a submission hold. Low Ki to the top rope, and he comes off with a stomp to Daniels. Low Ki to the apron, but he get a chop to Daniels anyway. He tags himself in and goes for the dragon clutch, but Williams sets him up into the position of a Vertebreaker, rams Low Ki into the corner three times, then takes Low Ki down with a dropkick. That's a standing O from the Philly crowd. Williams with forearms to Low Ki. Headsmash into the turnbuckle. Low Ki is placed up top, but he tries to fight out of it and takes Williams down with a rana, then into a triangle choke. Williams uses power bombs to try to break, and gets a series of 2 counts out of it, but it's Low Ki with a small package for 2 before locking in another submission hold. 20:00 remain.

Williams picks Low Ki up and falls back with him. Both men to their feet, and Low Ki chops away at Williams. Running forearm smash. Running headbutt. Spanky tags himself in. Williams goes for the Chaos Theory on Low Ki, but Low Ki flips right into a dragon clutch on Spanky! Spanky taps at 41:54. Daniels 2, Low Ki 1, Williams 0, Spanky -1

Third Fall: Paul Turner is back as referee. Daniels takes Low Ki down with a forearm to the back. Bodyslam for 2. Series of forearms and a clothesline. Asai moonsault for 2. Daniels blocks Low Ki's kicks and gets a roll up for 2. Into a leg scissors, and Spanky comes in for the save. Flying forearm to Daniels, but Spanky misses the Frog Splash. Spanky blocks a legsweep and gets a cradle for 2. Boot to the face, and Spanky hits a spinning pedigree for 2. Daniels with a jawbreaker, and he tags Williams. Williams locks in a hangman, Spanky's out of it, but Williams drives Spanky into the mat face first three times and covers for 2. Corner whip, high knee, 15:00 remain.

Daniels forearms Spanky but eats Williams' high knee. Low Ki covers Daniels for 2 as Williams hits Low Ki with a flying kneedrop. Daniels with forearm to Low Ki, but Williams gets one that sends Low Ki to the floor. Spanky cradles Williams for 2. Spanky goes for Sliced Bread #2, Low Ki blocks it, and Williams gets a fisherman suplex on Spanky before Low Ki makes the save. Low Ki with kicks and headbutts to Williams. He hurts himself with that, and Daniels takes Williams down with the STO. Triple Jump Moonsault for 2. Angel's Wings is blocked, but Spanky tags himself in and comes off the top with a flying bodypress to Williams for 2. Low Ki tags himself in, and a series of counters lead to Low Ki hitting the tarantula dragon clutch on Williams. Low Ki covers, and Spanky makes the save. All four men brawl inside the ring. Spanky hits Sliced Bread #2 off of Daniels and covers. Daniels makes the save, he and Spanky tumble to the floor, and Low Ki hits Williams with the Phoenix Splash for the pin at 48:48. Low Ki 3, Daniels 2, Williams -1, Spanky -1

Fourth Fall: Hansen is the ref again. Daniels quickly covers Williams for 2. Facerake to Low Ki. Spanky prevents a suplex. Low Ki and Daniels both take Spanky down, but Low Ki immediately chops Daniels. Exchange of chops. Daniels with a headbutt. 10:00 remain.

Irish whip, double clothesline. Uranage by Daniels, but he misses the Triple Jump Moonsault. Low Ki is slow to climb the turnbuckle, and Daniels is able to lift the knees on the Phoenix Splash attempt. Daniels tags Spanky, who goes right after Low Ki. Snap suplex by Spanky for 2. Sliced Bread #2 is countered into a Tombstone, and Daniels makes the save. Daniels with the Burning Hammer to Spanky and a cover, but Williams had tagged Spanky, and Williams piledrives Daniels for 2. Low Ki goes for the Tidal Crush, but Williams catches him into a power bomb, and Spanky makes the save. Spanky places Low Ki on the top turnbuckle, but Low Ki throws him off and hits a 450 splash. Low Ki can't cover. Daniels tags himself in. Spanky counters a bodyslam with a DDT and covers for 2. Spanky up top...frog splash for 2. 5:00 remain.

Low Ki tags himself in. Suplex, Spanky counters into a back suplex and covers for 2. 4:00 remain.

Spanky avoids a tiger suplex and hits a shoulderblock. Spanky goes for a springboard, but Williams trips Spanky. Daniels tags himself in as Spanky flips onto Williams on the floor and hits his knee. Daniels flips into the ring with a sunset flip for 2. Running forearm for 2. An STO is blocked, but not an inverted legsweep that gets 2 just as Williams plants Spanky with a tornado DDT on the floor. 3:00 remain.

Daniels with a headbutt. Forearms against the corner. Low Ki comes back with a forearm, but Daniels takes him down with a Blue Thunder Driver. 2:00 remain.

Daniels covers for 2. A huge "ROH" chant as Daniels tries to set up the Angel's Wings, but Low Ki gets a double-leg takedown. Williams and Spanky are apparently out cold on the floor. Headlock by Daniels, into a fireman's carry, and he goes for the Last Rites, but Low Ki reverses... 1:00 remaining.

...but Daniels locks in a dragon clutch! 45 seconds remain, and Low Ki looks ready to tap. Low Ki tries to punch out of it with 30 seconds left. 15 seconds and Low KI still tries to punch. Low Ki reverses at 59:55 and hits his own version of Last Rites, and there's the 1:00:00 time limit. Low Ki (new champion) 3, Daniels 2, Williams -1, Spanky -1 The crowd chants "Match of the Year", and with storytelling like that I'm inclined to agree. ****3/4 for some really minor flaws, notably that sometimes the tag mattered on covers and sometimes it didn't. A huge "Thank you fellas" chant as the referees award Low Ki the belt.

Williams, Spanky, and Low Ki all exchange handshakes, but of course, Daniels refuses because that's his entire gimmick. Low Ki shows the belt for everybody to see, and the cameras follow Low Ki backstage, where he nearly passes out from exhaustion as Da Hit Squad gives him some water to try to hydrate himself. Low Ki's looking for a camera, which is right behind him, and he cuts a promo, saying that he proved this business is no joke. He went out there and showed everybody how much he loves this sport. He dedicates the win to Charlie, and DHS again tries to get some water in his system. He tells everybody that we have no idea how hot it is in the building. Low Ki then gets carried to the back.

Mark Briscoe comes in laughing and telling Jay their ride's waiting, but Jay is pissed at the laughing, because Mark's only doing it because he lost again. Jay threatens to hit him, but Mark's not 18 yet, so Jay could lose his license in Pennsylvania. But in Boston next month, there's no commission, so Jay issues the challenge. Mark: "You're just gonna lose again."

Simply Luscious reminds Daniels that he pinned Low Ki, and he grabs referee Paul Turner by the collar. He questions how he could lose the match to Low Ki when he pinned Low Ki, but Turner says "I was just following the Code of Honor." Bad move, and Daniels continues his death grip on Turner and vows to screw Ring of Honor over like they screwed him over.

End of show.

Overall, I'll be perfectly honest. This isn't one of ROH's best shows, mostly because the undercard matches had to be kept fairly short to give the main event the full hour. But that main event is worth the price of this tape by itself, as it might be the best match of last year.

After you've ordered this show at RFVideo (or not), send me your feedback or look at my archives.


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