ROH 003 – A Night Of Appreciation – 27th April 2002

So Round Robin Challenge demonstrated two things. Firstly the immense talent of the main eventers, particularly in the promotions first 5* match. Secondly the questionable depth of the midcard talent, and an apparent reliance on the main event trio wrestling each other to put on great matches, complete with a potentially OTT influx of ex-ECW talent. The midcard problem is addressed tonight with the additions of AJ Styles and Donovan Morgan, who have big reputations and come in with big debut matches. The main event and purpose of the show is to pay homage to Eddie Guerrero. Having shown himself to be a courageous and dedicated individual in overcoming a variety of personal demons and making it back to he WWF/E – he now returns to the Murphy Rec (as Intercontinental Champion) to fulfil his final indy booking. Also on the menu is the Texas Wrestling Academy gauntlet match to prove who the best graduate. There’s also more former ECW guys with Tony Mamaluke and Tony DeVito of Da Baldies getting on the card. Lets get to Philadelphia, PA. Commentating is Steve Corino and the debuting Donnie B. Eric Gargulio was forced to pick ROH or CZW – and he chose CZW. Donnie is very easily the worst play-by-play commentator Ring Of Honor ever had.

DeVito arrives and is greeted by Loc. I’m guessing he was the guy on the other end of the phone call at the first show.

Quiet Storm tries to convince Brian XL that he wants to try a new submission. He says he’s a high-flier so he doesn’t need to learn submissions. That about sums him up…

The Christopher Street Connection rip off Da Hit Squad’s gimmick of hyping up the fans as they queue to get into the building. They start kissing again until Mafia and Monsta Mack chase them off.

Backstage Quiet Storm has found American Dragon. He convinces Dragon that Brian XL wants him to try out a submission on him. Brian is still whining about submissions. Danielson stretches the f*ck out of him…which is good because Brian XL is insanely annoying.

Boogalou tells Da Hit Squad that since Homicide is in Japan tonight, he’s not booked. DeVito comes in to give him a warning.

This is now the SIXTH backstage segment now. Frank Talent (PA State Athletic Commissioner) yells at Spanky for goofing around and listening to his music rather than listening to his squeaky voice.

Da Hit Squad vs Christopher Street Connection vs Prince Nana/Simply Luscious

Basically everyone that DHS has massacred over the first two shows now wants revenge on this match. Do you really see two guys that have so far been built up as absolute killers losing to two comedy gays, a goofy prince and a woman?

DHS don’t wait for the CSC to get into the ring to start slapping them around. Allison Danger makes her return to ROH and starts shrieking down the microphone. Prince Nana jumps Hit Squad from behind…and he’s got Elax with him as well. Big ass to the face on Mafia, which leaves him in position for a Bronco Buster from Mase. Mafia gets up and suplexes both Mase and Elax on their heads. Luscious dropkicks Mafia in the balls before Allison Danger starts hitting on her. Nana and the Christopher Street Connection start arguing setting them up for a FOURWAY SPEAR by DHS. HALF NELSON SUPLEX on Buff E. as Nana is walking to the back. LEAPFROG SPINEBUSTER on Simply Luscious! Mafia lifts her again…BURNING HAMMER! Hit Squad win at 05:19. Elax comes back and they put him through a table for good measure.

Rating – DUD – I suppose it was funny, but I think we’ve seen enough of Da Hit Squad murderising these guys on the first two shows. I’ll admit seeing Simply Luscious destroyed at the end was fun but…whatever. It’s fun seeing Mafia and Mack’s head dropping mayhem but…it’d be good to see them dropping someone else on their head now. Maybe Brian XL…

Jay Briscoe vs Tony Mamaluke

Despite looking impressive in his first two matches, he lost them both. Amazing Red and Spanky have already gone over Jay Briscoe, and due to that, Jay is having to endure abuse from his brother Mark. Tonight he goes for a much-needed win against the debuting former ECW Tag Team Champion – former FBI member Tony Mamaluke.

Mamaluke tries to go to the mat and be all SHOOTAH but rather comedically falls through the ropes and lands on the floor. He does succeed in keeping Briscoe down on the mat though, prompting more taunts from Mark on the outside. Eventually Jay belts Mamaluke with a jumping heel kick. Fujiwara armbar applied by Tony but it’s too near to the ropes. Impressively he stays on the arm with a hammerlock northern lights suplex. Jay misses a moonsault press and gets caught in a grounded abdominal stretch. Superplex blocked with a SUPER GOURDBUSTER by Jay! He goes for the Jay Driller which Tony again grabs the arm to block. Jay rolls through a backslide…JAY DRILLER! Briscoe gets his first win at 07:24.

Rating - ** - Really too short to get a higher rating, but it certainly wasn’t a bad match. I don’t really like Mamaluke’s SERIOUS look at me I can shoot style, but it’s an improvement over comedy acts like CSC and Nana. Jay is a real talent, but spent most of this match getting out-wrestled so you probably wouldn’t know it from this.

Jay is congratulated backstage by his parents…but Mark still gives him a hard time. Meanwhile James Maritato yells at Tony Mamaluke for using the FBI music and tights.

Divine Storm vs Christian York/Joey Matthews

York and Matthews debuted at the Round Robin Challenge, defeating the makeshift team of CW Anderson and Elax. Tonight they have a tougher challenge in the regular duo of Divine Storm who have been flying around the ring with the SAT, Red and Brian XL for the first couple of shows. For both teams this is a chance to show what they can do in a straight wrestling match.

Storm and Matthews go with standing switches, then increase the pace with a near miss exchange. In the end Joey quits playing Storm’s game and punches him in the face. York comes in with a missile dropkick but he falls victim to Quiet Storm’s fast-paced offence. Divine and York are a lot sloppier than Storm/Matthews. Christian comes up with an Alabamaslam into a pendulum hold which QS breaks. Divine plants him with a spinebuster for 2. Divine Storm get another 2 count from a dropkick/STO combo. They set up for a Poetry In Motion but York springboards off Divine’s back into a clothesline on Storm. Brian XL breaks the Code Of Honor by interfering with a running moonsault, which pisses Divine Storm off. Divine attempts a super rana and falls victim to a top rope Manhattan drop. Matthews gives Divine his own Real Deal move and drops Storm with a neckbreaker. FULL EFFECT! Essentially it’s a double team inverted DVD. York and Divine brawl to the floor. Quiet Storm is up, but the Storm Cradle Driver is blocked. He locks on a version of the Strykerlock to get a surprising submission victory at 08:48.

Rating - * - There was nothing massively wrong here, but then again, neither teams are exceptionally good and in the end all it produced was a bland little tag match that was immediately forgotten. Divine Storm were exposed as painfully average outside of their spot environment. York and Matthews do work the formula tag well, but I get the feeling that they need good opponents to lead them to decent matches. You can see even here why Joey Matthews ended up in the WWE whilst Christian York fell by the wayside. He’s easily the better of the two. Lousy finish by the way…Quiet Storm won’t get over as a submission wrestler in a thousand years.

Scoot Andrews vs James Maritato vs Xavier

On the first two shows Xavier has managed to beat both Scoot and Maritato. Now both are coming for revenge in this three-way dance. Andrews missed out on a rematch in March because he was recovering from a leg injury. In a pre-match promo Maritato points out that in ECW he was the master of the three-way dance. Can Xavier keep his winning streak alive? Can he look like a talented wrestler?

Andrews and Maritato try to lock up, back body dropping Xavier in the process. Scoot whips Maritato into a dropkick from Xavier which sends him out. Tilta-whirl facebomb gets him a 2 count. Xavier goes for the X-Breaker early but Maritato runs in to break that up. Xavier takes him to the corner for the jumping knee strikes but James comes back out of the corner with a missile dropkick. Maritato stops Scoot hitting the Force Of Nature, whilst Xavier then refuses to let him hit the Kiss Of Death. They go for a powerbomb/super fallaway slam carwreck spot but it winds up a little messy. All three go for right hands and they all go down. Maritato attempts a slingshot suplex but Andrews catches Xavier with FORCE OF NATURE! Maritato breaks the pinfall. Andrews gets 2 with an inverted DDT. To the top rope again where Maritato Russian legsweeps Scoot off the turnbuckles. Xavier dives into a fujiwara armbar and taps at 06:28. That’s a big win for Maritato, and Xavier’s first defeat.

Rating - ** - Once again, too short to be anything meaningful. They put a lot of effort in, kept the pace quick and there was only minimal screw-ups. The three-way format disguised a lot of Xavier’s weaknesses, although he still didn’t look outstanding – considering he was the focus of this match having beaten both men previously. Maritato was the rightful winner as he looked in a league of his own with these two. Andrews isn’t bad either…just totally bland. It’s harder watching him when you realise we could’ve been watching Mike Quackenbush instead.

Simply Luscious b*tches at Rob Feinstein for booking her as Prince Nana’s valet. He says next month he’ll have something better for her.

AJ Styles vs Low Ki

The Phenomenal one makes his Ring Of Honor debut, and you can tell they have high hopes for him as he’s immediately put straight into the ring with ROH’s golden boy Low Ki. He exploded in 2001 after an impressive match with Chris Daniels (fancy that) at an NWA show somewhere, having previously been a stand-out with NWA-Wildside. Low Ki has delivered impressive matches thus far in his tenure, but after suffering his first defeat in the last main event, he’ll be looking to bounce back with a big win. He’s also preoccupied with Christopher Daniels, who says he won’t wrestle again Ki again until the ROH Title is on the line.

For the third match in a row, Donnie B says this is the match he’s been looking forward to. Initially Ki and AJ break out some super-intense mat-wrestling, ending when Ki hits a couple of warning kicks to the leg. Styles is up for this and initiates a KICK DUEL! Finally Ki ducks a kick and chopblocks AJ down to the canvas again. I love how Low Ki periodically throws in a vicious kick no matter where they are in the ring. He nails a couple of bigger kicks to Styles’ head…but AJ drags him over with the nip-up hurricanrana. Suplex neckbreaker gets Styles a 2. Low Ki boots him in the head out of the corner, then drops the Mutoh elbow. AJ enziguris Ki to the floor, then chases him out for a dazzling SUPERKICK! He brainbusters Ki but it’s still not enough to win. CAPO KICK rattles Styles, then a RUNNING MAFIA KICK sends him to the floor. The battle moves to the ring apron where Ki straps on the BITE OF THE DRAGON! DRAGON CLUTCH IN THE ROPES! He sets up for the Ki Krusha but Styles counters with a DDT. Dragon Clutch blocked…QUEBRADA INVERTED DDT! Yes folks, he’s really been doing the same spot for that long! He attempts a rana and Low Ki powerbombs him for 2. KAWADA KICK FLURRY! He gets another 2 count with a tiger suplex. Styles comes back with a lariat then strings together the back suplex with the front gourdbuster for 2. Sit-out gourdbuster from Ki leaves both men down. TIDAL KRUSH! Ki to the top rope…PHOENIX SPLASH INTO AJ’S KNEES! Styles comes up…FIRE THUNDER DRIVER! LOW KI F*CKING KICKS OUT! SPIRAL TAP MISSES! Donnie B calls that a twisting back suplex…retard. Grounded enziguri from Ki knocks Styles goofy again. Ki Krusha blocked again but AJ goes for the Fire Thunder Driver again and gets rolled up for 3 at 18:21.

Rating - **** - Exciting match that got over huge with the crowd, giving Low Ki another memorable match. It was spotty, high-impact stuff, and whilst some things really didn’t work, a lot did. At a time when AJ Styles would still have been unfamiliar to a lot of the north-east crowd this was an auspicious debut that ensured him future bookings and justified the faith shown him to book a debut against Ki. I don’t like the finish, but it gives the Low Ki the win without harming Styles too much – and opens the doors to a rematch down the road. The Fire Thunder Driver (splash mountain piledriver) is a terrifyingly violent spot by the way. If bad commentary annoys you you’ll need to watch this on mute – Donnie B crosses the line from annoying to unbearable.

Christopher Daniels praises ROH for booking Donovan Morgan – a man he says it’s actually on his level. He’s excited to wrestle Morgan as opposed to triple threats or Round Robin Challenges.

Dunn & Marcos vs Carnage Crew

Loc was booked as a referee at Era Of Honor Begins, and wound up getting his ass kicked by the Natural Born Sinners. He immediately got on the phone to DeVito and now the former Baldie has arrived in ROH to form the Carnage Crew. This is also the debut on Dunn & Marcos – two guys on the ring crew looking for opportunities and experience. They look so cute and young…

The Crew immediately start brutalising their smaller opponents. HEAD DROP CRADLE SUPLEX on Dunn. The fans are sh*tting on this by the way. Marcos attempts a sunset flip only for Loc to drop him on his head with an inverted piledriver. DOOMSDAY MISSILE DROPKICK! DeVito gives him a northern lights into the turnbuckles then goes to the top to MISS a moonsault. Dunn gets the hot tag – but the Ring Crew Express quickly fall victim to duelling facebusters. The SPLASH MOUNTAIN NECKBREAKER finishes Marcos at 03:12. Dunn & Marcos get smacked with hubcaps too.

Rating - * - Early ROH has way too many squash matches like this. The Carnage Crew looked alright but, when they’re just throwing around little guys it’s easy to look impressive. They go straight into a feud with the Natural Born Sinners so we’ll see where that goes I guess. Interesting note – DeVito wasn’t originally scheduled to be a part of the Carnage Crew. Loc attacked the Sinners at Round Robin Challenge with some other guy but apparently he looked so bad that they cut the segment and booked DeVito instead.

Donovan Morgan vs Christopher Daniels

Clearly Donovan was expected to be a big star in ROH. He gets brought in and immediately booked against Daniels after winning the ECWA Super 8 tournament and already going to Japan to compete for Pro-Wrestling NOAH. Daniels has only managed one victory in ROH so far and has said he wants a shot at the ROH Title (which as of yet doesn’t even exist). Therefore he needs a victory you’d assume.

Morgan is in so much better shape here than he is now. Despite professing respect for his opponent, Daniels still refuses to follow the Code. There’s a lot of hold and counter-hold without a lot of point for the opening few minutes. Donovan keeps going to a headlock so Daniels counters with a NECK DROP back suplex. Quickly he starts attacking the neck further, with every move doing more damage to it. Morgan has the Golden Gate Swing blocked but is still able to drop the Fallen Angel with a neckbreaker – quickly adopting the same strategy as his opponent. He double boots the back of the head then starts elbowing the neck over the exposed edge of the apron. With hurting necks, both men try to end it quickly with a flurry of nearfalls. OVERHEAD urinage suplex gets Donovan a 2. Daniels comes back with a German throw to leave it all even. Morgan tries to duck a right hand but Daniels thinks fast and grabs his head for a neckbreaker. STO nailed (‘exploder suplex’ – Donnie B). BEST MOONSAULT EVER for just 2! Fall From Grace blocked and Morgan comes from the second rope with a JUMPING DDT! He finds the neck again with a northern lariat then a Saito suplex. DANIELS WITH THE CROSSFACE! Unlike Dragon last show, Morgan gets the ropes. Last Rites COUNTERED WITH THE GOLDEN GATE SWING! Daniels is in the ropes so Morgan picks him up for ANOTHER Golden Gate Swing. He picks up a debut victory in 13:18.

Rating - *** - Disappointingly brief but the story of two men working the neck like bastards was effective. The match had some noticeable dead periods where not a lot was happening but after the first couple of minutes it was never boring. Morgan definitely didn’t make the impression on his debut that Styles did, but he looked like a solid talent. It still remains a baffling choice to put him over Daniels here though. Daniels is the top heel and needs a win or two. He’s being positioned to go for the ROH Title meaning he needs credibility with victories. Morgan is on debut and, as we saw with Ki/AJ earlier – you don’t need to win on debut to make a big impression.

Daniels re-affirms his hatred of the Code Of Honor, but he shows his respect for Morgan by offering to team with him against ‘little punks’ in ROH like Low Ki or American Dragon.

Spanky laughs at all his fellow TWA graduates. Michael Shane tells him to be respectful, but Spanky simply says he’ll win the gauntlet tonight. John Hope says he’s the dark horse since he was in the original class with Shawn Michaels. ‘I break ankles’ – Paul London. That’s hilarious…

John Hope promptly proves why he’s the dark horse by losing to London in a match that’s clipped up and barely included on the tape. Highlights include Paul flipping off the top rope into the aisle and winning the match with the London Star Press.

Paul London vs Michael Shane – TWA Gauntlet Match

Michael Shane is back after impressing in a tag match at the Era Of Honor Begins. He’d love to overcome Paul London here to get a shot at Spanky, who annoys him with his jerky attitude. I’m guessing Paul is still desperate to make a good impression on the ROH fans after having one match cut short due to ankle-breaking and now another clipped off the release.

Simply Luscious is on commentary for her fellow graduates, but Steve Corino spends the time hitting on her. London goes for a powerbomb but Shane counters it with a facebuster for 2. Hurricanrana into a dropsault gets Paul a 2 as well. Shane runs through him with a spear. HAAS OF PAIN! London gets the ropes. TIGER FACEBUSTER lays Shane out for London to go up top again. LONDON STAR MISSES! PICTURE PERFECT ELBOW! Shane wins at 03:43.

Rating - * - Good action but too short to get a higher rating. This will always be the problem with gauntlet matches, and why nobody really likes them. Paul London is a bundle of energy in the ring but thus far all we’ve really seen of him is spots.

Michael Shane vs Spanky – TWA Gauntlet Match

This is the renewal of a rivalry that was born at the first show. Spanky pinned Shane’s partner Oz to win an ROH contract – and if he wasn’t cocky enough before he then became even worse. Michael Shane is respectful and dedicated (despite being such a heel everywhere he goes now) so is a natural enemy. Can he take his arrogance down a peg or two by giving him his first loss in Ring Of Honor.

There’s piefacing during the handshake and the hatred immediately boils over with a heated slap exchange. Spanky looks for a top rope crossbody but gets dropkicked in the chest. TKO jawbreaker then a running neckbreaker get Shane a 2. Spanky gets vicious and takes it to the floor to dump Shane into the guardrail – busting him open in the process. ‘Rudy Boy cut him with a key’ – Corino. Spanky goes after the cut until Michael clotheslines him over the top rope. He goes for a crossbody but this time Spanky has the foresight to lowbridge him and send him crashing to the wooden floor again. He calls for the Sayama kick but Shane blocks it. TUMBLEWEED PRESS! Spanky punches the lacerated head but Shane is HULKING UP! Spanky tries to skin the cat only for Shane to dropkick him in the face! RUNNING SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! Tornado cravat gets Spanky a 2 count. Shane looks for the Picture Perfect Elbow but he falls off the top rope due to blood loss. Sliced Bread blocked…Shane with the SUPERKICK! It’s too close to the ropes. SLICED BREAD #2! Spanky wins at 10:11.

Rating - ** - A good brawling match that conveyed the heat between these two individuals well. Had Shane’s bladejob been better it would’ve added to the “blood loss” drama of the match a lot more. By the time they did the falling off the top rope spot the laceration on his head had pretty much closed up again. I liked the way he timed his comebacks though, and the mini-jostle over their finishing moves at the end was very well done. Heaps of potential in both men of course.

Spanky vs American Dragon – TWA Gauntlet Match

This is probably a battle between the two top TWA graduates in ROH right now. They are the two athletes with ROH “contracts”. Spanky has been a stand-out athlete in the midcard every show, whilst American Dragon has stolen both shows thus far with MOTY-quality efforts. He’s also wrestling in tights – the only time he’s done so in four years with ROH.

Fatigue will be playing a factor for Spanky now, and Dragon wastes no time in taking him down. Spanky’s goofy ¾ lengths are ripped at the crotch. He works hard but the opening minutes are monopolised by him wrestling defensively to keep Dragon at bay. Spanky is looking fairly gassed at this point…but he flips out of a German suplex and nails a RUNNING ROPE JUMP GUILLOTINE! He attempts a springboard move but slips on the ropes – he’s a tired boy now. A BRUTAL forearm sends Danielson crashing off the apron. Spanky tries to increase the pace and score a quick victory but Dragon manages to kick out. CRAVAT SUPLEX wrenches Spanky in mid-air. Dragon follows up with an enziguri and both guys take their time to recover. Spanky jumps off the top into a big elbow strike. High angle back suplex drops the Spankster again for 2. His tornado cravat is blocked but Dragon still staggers into a jumping heel kick. Spanky is so winded now he botches a suplex. Sliced Bread #2 countered with a NECK DROP German! Danielson lifts him almost over his shoulder with a big powerbomb. SLICED BREAD #2 SCORES! DRAGON KICKS OUT! ROARING ELBOW! He plants Spanky with a dragon suplex, but he did it too close to the ropes. Spanky blocks a back superplex. AVALANCHE SLICED BREAD! SPANKY WINS! 13:46 is your time.

Rating - *** - Spanky was out on his feet leaving Danielson to pretty much carry him – but since the story of the match was the plucky, exhausted underdog against the wrestling machine that didn’t actually harm the match too much. It’s a good example of how good American Dragon is – he literally wrestled a limp body to a 3* match there. It’s a big win for Spanky too. Dragon is already established as a player in the promotion. By winning the TWA Gauntlet Match, it helps to elevate Spanky onto that level as well. As I said, early ROH has a real problem with a lack of talent outside of the main events so getting Spanky up there really is beneficial.

Spanky takes the opportunity to enter himself in the running for the ROH Title. Despite microphone difficulties, Dragon nominates himself as well. Christopher Daniels comes out and says that he will be in the tournament to be the first ever ROH Champion. Scoot Andrews turns up to put his name in the hat despite not having got a win yet. He challenges Daniels to a match in the first round of the tournament. Xavier says the tournament needs a little green-ness so he wants in. So does Jay Briscoe. Prince Nana wants in as well, although he rambles a lot more than anyone else. The final man out to demand an entry is Low Ki. Nana slaps him so Ki lays him out. It’s a cool segment which sets up next month’s tournament perfectly, but it lasts too long.

Eddie Guerrero/Amazing Red vs SAT

Over the past two shows Red has been pinned by both his partners in the SAT. Jose Maximo inadvertently pinned him at Era Of Honor Begins, whilst Joel eliminated him from a three-way tag match at Round Robin Challenge when Red got into a fight with Brian XL. Mikey Whipwreck promised Red he’d find him a partner he could rely on to face the SAT. That man turns out to be Eddie Guerrero. The reigning WWF Intercontinental Champion comes in to make his final independent appearance. Having overcome his demons he’s back in McMahon-land so tonight we are here to pay appreciation to the man and all his accomplishments.

Red tells Eddie he wants to start with Jose and promptly starts throwing him around with a hurricanrana and armdrags. Guerrero launches him into a satellite headscissors then drops Joel with a tilta-whirl backbreaker. Eddie and Joel slow the pace for a while but inevitably it speeds up again. Guerrero puts Maximo in a Texas cloverleaf. The slingshot hilo gets 2 as he continues to dominate Joel. Jose tags and helps put Guerrero in a Mexican surfboard. He drops the Intercontinental champion with a few suplexes but doesn’t beat him down enough to attempt a top rope move. Superplex on Jose Maximo. Red gets the tag and hits a satellite DDT. RED STAR PRESS on Joel. Joel fires back with a LIGERBOMB! Donnie B makes a fat joke about Joel! Red almost gets a tag but Jose kicks him in the jaw to cut him off. PENDULUM LEG DROP by the Maximos gets 2. The locker room has emptied as a mark of respect to Eddie. Amazing Red lands a corkscrew enzi and finally makes the hot tag. BRAINBUSTER on Jose, but he counters a splash mountain bomb with a rana. Joel grabs Guerrero on the top rope as he was going for the Frog Splash. Red saves Eddie from the Spanish Fly then hits a corkscrew pescado on Joel. LEAPFROG RANA BY RED AND EDDIE! RUNNING SWANTON ON JOEL! FROG SPLASH MISSES! SPLASH MOUNTAIN BOMB! Eddie wins at 13:43.

Rating - ** - Mostly pretty average, but then again, it’s the SAT. They’re lame out of their spot environment so this, a formulaic tag match, was a little beyond them. Thankfully Red is a charismatic underdog and the crowd popped huge anytime Eddie got in there so it wasn’t a total loss. Considering Guerrero was under WWE contract again by this point, you were never going to see a classic match. He was there for the respectful pop and really put as much effort in as his employer would allow. Hopefully SAT will be dropped down the card now since…they suck. We were here to pay tribute to Eddie Guerrero and the match accomplished it.

Brian XL comes out and complains that he didn’t get to work with Guerrero whilst all his running buddies did. Eddie lets him have a singles match which lasts about 10 seconds. He gives Brian a brainbuster then climbs the ropes for the only ROH GUERRERO FROG SPLASH! He starts crying in the ring as the fans chant ‘we will miss you’. This is SO hard to watch knowing that three and a half years later Eddie would be gone. ‘When I step in this ring I’m happy’ – Eddie.

Low Ki and Dragon walk to the back talking about Eddie Guerrero, and come across Spanky – who was in the back eating pizza this whole time. Christopher Daniels and Donovan Morgan turn up and get into a ruck with Ki and Dragon but all three of them get chased out of the locker-room. Spanky yells at Daniels and Morgan for getting him heat with Low Ki. ‘If I still had hair this place would make it go grey’ – Daniels.

Tape Rating - ** - Ironically, there was probably more solid wrestling on this tape than any other. But most of it comes in entirely bland filler matches that mean nothing. There’s no stand-out MOTYC match to haul up the overall rating either, which is why this show drops into 2* territory. It has stuff going for it – Ki/Styles, Daniels/Morgan and Spanky/Dragon are all good and the Eddie Guerrero stuff in the main event is really emotional. Most of the 2002 shows are one-match shows, and when the “one-match” on this one doesn’t reach MOTYC territory, it’s harder to rate it as highly as some others.

Top 3 Matches

3) Spanky vs American Dragon (***)

2) Donovan Morgan vs Christopher Daniels (***)

1) Low Ki vs AJ Styles (****)

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