ROH 007 – Unscripted – 21st September 2002

This is the event christened ‘Unscripted’ because various talent cancellations forced a total re-write of the original card. Originally scheduled tonight – Paul London and Spanky joining forces in the Tag Title tournament, American Dragon vs Steve Corino and Michael Modest vs Takao Omori. However, Spanky and Corino are in Japan with Zero-ONE, and to make matters worse, Boogalou no-showed, opting to work for XPW instead and permanently blacklisting himself from ROH – ending the Natural Born Sinners team meaning we don’t get Sinners/Hit Squad in the tourney. However, the tournament is still going ahead with some great talent, including The Prophecy (Chris Daniels and Donovan Morgan), the former FBI and the Japanese tandem of Dick Togo and Ikuto Hidaka. Low Ki defends the ROH Title against Xavier, there’s a rematch from show 1 in Red/Jay Briscoe and who knows what else to expect since tonight we’re going off the script. We’re back in Philadelphia, PA. Hosts are the new duo of Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow. This is optimum budget cutting by ROH as the new pair is actually booker Gabe Sapolsky (Lovey) and Rob Feinstein’s best mate Doug Gentry (Murrow). They’re also absolutely abysmal…but that’s almost an improvement on Donnie B. They get better fortunately…

Stephen DeAngelis is in the ring with Paul London, asking him what he’s going to do tonight now Spanky has cancelled his appearance. London says he’s drafted in American Dragon to be his partner instead. Michael Shane comes out and acts like an asshole. Paul looks like Stingray from ‘Neighbours’ (Australian soap opera that kicks ass). They get into a fight which leads to a psychotic LONDON STAR PRESS TO THE FLOOR! London challenges Shane to a Street Fight later, which now leaves Danielson without a partner for a tournament he’s only just agreed to enter.

SAT vs Christopher Daniels/Donovan Morgan

This is the first Tag Title quarter final. Daniels and Morgan are teaming officially for the first time. They’ve joined forces and formed The Prophecy with the goal of taking down the Code Of Honor. In order to do this they want to win all the belts and reform the promotion in their own image. Obviously that stretches to winning the belts. They are also the most talented opponents the SAT have been faced with so far. Can they drag the Maximos to a better match?

No following the Code, Morgan and Daniels try to get the jump before the bell. SAT cut it all off and put The Prophecy in the Human Taffy Machine. Jose missile dropkicks Daniels for 2. Morgan blind tags and heaves Joel to the floor. Lovey and Murrow are the most uncharismatic, bored-sounding duo imaginable. No Donnie B ‘twisting thingymajiggy suplex-type manoeuvres’ calls though. The Prophecy heel it up and start isolating Joel, distracting the referee as Jose tries to come to his aid. Chris Daniels seems to be fighting a girl in the crowd. Joel double clotheslines his opponents and gets the hot tag. Jose hits a messy tilta-whirl DDT then botches a clothesline over the ropes spot. Joel tries a dive but Simply Luscious BREAKS THE CODE by sweeping his legs. That girl Daniels was fighting climbs the ropes to MOONSAULT her. Is that Trinity? Yeah, it is. Meanwhile the SAT have Morgan…DOOMSDAY DDT! Daniels breaks the fall. They try to Spanish Fly him but Morgan pulls Jose away. SOLO SPANISH FLY BY FAT JOEL! GOLDEN GATE SWING on him. SAYONARA on Jose means The Prophecy advance at 07:18

Rating - ** - Chaotic, and the Trinity interference served no obvious purpose, but it was more fun than your usual SAT match. They at least attempted to work a semblance of a normal tag match which made me appreciate the highspots (when they came) a lot more. The right team advances so hey, I’ll take it.

Dick Togo and Ikuto Hidaka hang out backstage. The Christopher Street Connection (with their new friend the Japanese Pool Boy) amble over to say hello. ‘Who ordered Chinese?’ – Buff E. Elsewhere Tony Mamaluke makes sure the sound-guy plays the old FBI music for him and Maritato tonight.

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka vs James Maritato/Tony Mamaluke

I know that three of these guys made appearances in the old ECW. I think Hidaka may have popped up for Heyman’s crew as well to be honest. Anyway, Togo was in that awesome 6-man at Barely Legal ’97 if you can remember that. Maritato and Mamaluke aren’t getting along very well because Tony wants to cling on to the FBI gimmick whilst James wants to get back to his old UWFi shooter days. Winners of this face Daniels and Morgan in the semi-finals.

Maritato starts out unhappy thanks to the FBI music he had to come out to. Hidaka and Maritato go fast from the bell and do some pretty sweet stuff. Ikuto dropkicks the knee a couple of times before a stand-off for the crowd to applaud. Togo and Mamaluke go to the mat, again with some really crisp exchanges that the fans totally dig. Hidaka dropkicks Tony in the face, and he tags Maritato in, with him falling victim to the exact same dropkick. James counters a body slam into an anklelock, then gets pissed off at Mamaluke who attacks Ikuto from behind. Shinbreaker into a dragon screw into a horse collar keep the pressure on Hidaka’s leg. Double Fujiwara from the FBI. Again Mamaluke takes a cheap shot, and again Maritato yells at him for it. Double leglocks from the Japanese invaders thanks to the dissension between the Italians. Hidaka hits a sit-out powerbomb on Mamaluke and gets the hot tag to Dick. Maritato saves Mamaluke from a pin with a guillotine leg drop. Hidaka superkicks him off the apron. SENTON BOMB for Mamaluke. Far East Connection win at 09:44.

Rating - ** - Better basics than Prophecy/SAT, but less excitement. Plus again it was disappointingly short. Thankfully Togo and Hidaka advanced so they’ll hopefully get to show more of their stuff in the semis. Their little cameos looked great, but their part in this was faded into the background in favour of advancing the Maritato/Mamaluke dissension.

Gary Michael Cappetta makes his ROH debut by attempting to get the scoop on the heat between the former FBI partners. Maritato complains that Tony doesn’t want to be serious. Mamaluke objects to being called a ‘comedy act’ and challenges Nunzio to a match right now.

James Maritato vs Tony Mamaluke

Maritato came into ROH wanting to put his ‘Little Guido’ and FBI days behind him. He wanted to focus on being a serious wrestler like he was in the mid-90’s when he worked for the UWFi in Japan. But Mamaluke came in at Night Of Appreciation and tried to keep the FBI gimmick alive. They’ve teamed twice now and failed to get on. Now the partnership between the former ECW Tag Champions has completely disintegrated and we’ve got ourselves an UNSCRIPTED match.

Mamaluke cheaps starts with a belly to belly suplex. He tries to legsweep Maritato off the apron but sends himself THROUGH the railings. Maritato goes out after him and tries to use the ringbell, only to take a drop toehold and hit himself in the face. He’s busted himself open with that. Tony gets 2 with a back drop driver. Second rope dropkick gets Maritato the same result. Mamaluke low blows his former partner and rolls him up for 3 at 02:56, despite the fact that Maritato had the ropes.

Rating – DUD – There was really no point in this. They’re already wrestling each other next month. What was the point in blowing their first match in a throw-away 3-minute match? Although the truth is you should enjoy this one – it’s much more exciting than the rematch.

Maritato is understandably upset and challenges Mamaluke for the next show – then he ups the stakes by saying he’ll put the FBI gimmick on the line. That’s for Glory By Honor next month.

GMC has found his way backstage and is still a-scooping. He runs into American Dragon who says his partner tonight will be Mike Modest. Modest puts himself over as one of the top talents in NOAH. He’s so very not.

Divine Storm vs American Dragon/Michael Modest

Another tournament quarter final here. Divine Storm have a lot of tag team experience, whilst neither American Dragon nor Mike Modest were scheduled to be in this tournament until tonight. That’s the UNSCRIPTED format for you. You’ll either recognise Modest for being an average NOAH midcarder, or that white guy who didn’t get a job with the WWF in Beyond The Mat.

Credit to Quiet Storm, who looks damn good working the mat with Dragon. Divine puts him in a shortarm scissors…which inexplicably neither commentator can call. Danielson tries to power out but in the end opts to clobber his way free. Modest tags…MOST BRUTAL FOREARMS EVER! EAT THAT SPOT-MONKEY! Modest is f*cking Divine up! ‘He looks like an enlarged 8-year old midget’ – Lovey. He plants Divine with a urinage (called a ‘urine-edge’ by the moronic commentators). Botched tilta-whirl by Divine. Storm runs in with a SPINAL SHOCK on Dragon. AmDrag makes him pay by stiffing him on the floor. Modest lifts Divine into a super fishermans buster to win at 06:22.

Rating - * - This would’ve been a dud but Modest taking horrifying liberties with Chris Divine was awesome so I’ll give it a break. The commentators are getting worse. Everything is too short so far. Every match (bar Mamaluke/Maritato) has had some good things, but just got no time to develop. Such is the way of one-night tournaments.

The Carnage Crew interrupt a pre-show fan convention by beating up some of the ring boys. They’re upset that they weren’t put in the tournament. It’s then scheduled to be Da Hit Squad against the Natural Born Sinners in the tournament…but the Carnage Crew attack DHS on the way to the ring as well. Apparently they attacked the Sinners in the locker room and Boogalou’s ‘career is over’. The match is cancelled meaning Dragon and Modest get a bye to the finals.

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka vs Christopher Daniels/Donovan Morgan

Regardless of what just went down, the other semi-final continues as planned. Neither team has had a massive amount of time to rest since their opening matches so that could be a problem. With the other finalists already set, with longer to rest and having had a much easier match, it’s in the interests of both that this is as brief as possible Daniels and Morgan regularly compete in Japan so they’ll be used to the style of their opponents.

Apparently Daniels has faced both Togo and Hidaka as Curry Man. Morgan and Hidaka hit each other hard, ending in a somersault leg drop from Hidaka. The Prophecy’s cheating gets them an advantage, and Daniels body slams Ikuto onto the hard floor. CACTUS ELBOW BY DANIELS! Togo comes in with a slingshot hilo. He slaps an STF on the Fallen Angel but naturally Donovan doesn’t let him apply it for long. Hidaka tries to target the arm then lays out Daniels with a DDT, but a low blow enables a tag opportunity for Morgan. He suplexes Ikuto on his head repeatedly for 2. Daniels is back and hits a nice Arabian press. He suplexes him onto the top rope and follows it with a leg drop to the back of the head. Morgan applies a Lion Tamer forcing Dick to run interference. Morgan puts a headscissors on Hidaka but Togo is still there so he does the same to him…making Daniels break it up with a top rope elbow drop. SPRINGBOARD swinging DDT by Hidaka enables him to get the fuzzy warm tag. TORNADO DDT on Morgan for 2. Togo looks for a submission with a Crossface but Daniels is right into break it up. SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW SENTON to the floor by Ikuto, as Morgan gives Dick the overhead urinage. GOLDEN GATE SWING before Hidaka breaks the pin. SENTON BOMB NAILED AGAIN! This time Daniels is on hand to save. ANGELS WINGS on Hidaka – FOR 2! BEST MOONSAULT EVER…Togo saves. Ikuto grabs a tornado front choke in the ropes then nails a gorgeous missile dropkick. SPINNING POWERBOMB for 2! Daniels comes back with an STO and that’s enough for a 3-count – with Morgan holding Hidaka’s foot down. Prophecy advance at 13:45.

Rating - *** - Best match so far tonight by quite a distance. The heat segment on Hidaka was a little tedious for a 15 minute match, but in fairness, this is Daniels and Morgan’s first time teaming. They’re not going to be working like a well-oiled machine right away. They still worked a solid match with a red-hot conclusion. I’m sure this would only have been better with more time. Daniels/Morgan vs Dragon/Modest in the finals sounds pretty tasty. Togo and Hidaka will be back at Glory By Honor.

It should be Dunn & Marcos against Prince Nana and his latest lackey Alex Arion. Anything for a booking for Arion I guess. Anyway, Nana is still selling the injury from Low Ki’s kick. That means it’ll now be…

Alex Arion vs Dunn

I’m almost entirely positive there’s no need for this to be included on the tape. Arion clearly looked solid enough in his brief match with Maverick Wild last month to earn another look. Dunn & Marcos are starting to get over as lovable 80’s rocker jobbers. Nana is still out there…but who really cares?

Double A doesn’t have any real problems with this nobody. He gets 2 with a missile dropkick, and monkey flips him into the buckles. Top rope splash finishes Dunn at 01:35.

Rating – DUD – Well that’s just super. Prince Nana has no place in ROH (until discovering his niche as a manager). Arion is blander than bland. Dunn & Marcos are lovable but limited.

More shenanigans as Nana beats the tar out of Marcos. He tries to get Arion to be his latest slave but gets superkicked for it. The crowd don’t care. Given that the booker is on commentary and even HE is ripping the piss out of this crap, I think it’s safe to say this is appalling. Christopher Street Connection come out to waste more tape-time. They rip on the Billy & Chuck fake-wedding thing (this is September 2002 so that angle was going on at the same time) until Alexis Laree comes out and beats them up. She got spanked by Allison Danger at Crowning A Champion so wanted revenge.

Low Ki vs Xavier – ROH Title Match

Hands up if you see Xavier as a credible title contender? I’m guessing unless you’re Xavier or the ROH bookers in 2002 your hands are down. He’s looked decidedly mediocre in an entirely forgettable midcard spatter against an equally drab Scoot Andrews, and has now weaselled his way into a title shot. He asked Ki for a shot if he won the belt in July, then wasted no time in hassling him to be a man of his word in August at Honor Invades Boston. Is this to be his break-out match where he shows us what he’s really capable of? Low Ki is back from a tour of Japan with Z-1, and has come back with a few injuries – including an ankle knock which almost forced him to miss the show altogether. Injured Low Ki and the green Xavier? It doesn’t sound promising but I haven’t watched this match for a while.

They try to do an “intense” lock-up but it looks about as intense as egg sandwiches at grandmas. Xavier tries kicking Ki who simply smiles and starts lashing the crap out of him. Xavier looks for his knee strikes but Ki peppers him with more strikes. Xavier’s return shots are piss-poor. Enough of the striking, they go to the mat and exchange cross armbreakers. Xavier’s mat-wrestling gets too bland so Ki just arches into more kicks to the face. He sets up the Krush Combo, but the final kick is blocked (as always). Xavier tries something but gets shrugged off and this time he nails the last kick in the trio. Xavier tries some kicks to the spine, but they suck so hard Ki just laughs. They have a slap duel, and frankly, even Xavier’s slaps aren’t so good. He botches a tilta-whirl but recovers with an inverted Samoan drop for 2. Chinlock applied so he can catch his wind because, at 10 minutes, he’s already looking jaded. This time he is able to score with his knee strikes. X-Breaker countered with a capo kick. Xavier rolls out and gets CAPO KICKED OFF THE APRON! MUTA ELBOW ON THE FLOOR! Xavier is noticeably blown up now. He does manage to powerbomb Ki into the buckles.

SEATED Cattle Mutilation – that’s the coolest thing he’s done in seven shows and he practically stole it. Xavier tries a baseball slide and gets spun into Kawada kicks over the apron. Low Ki drops a Randy Savage elbow for 2, as opposed to something that’s more demanding on his ankle. Ki Krusha blocked. Xavier is so knackered he can’t even stand up and botches a powerbomb then a nearfall sequence in succession. You can see Ki get pissed off and REALLY kick him hard. Xavier hits a messy powerslam, only for Ki to fire back with an enzi to the head. Jesus f*cking Crist who booked him to go this long? HANGING DRAGON rolled into the DRAGON CLUTCH! ‘I think Xavier’s out of gas’ – Murrow. No sh*t. Kiss Your X Goodbye blocked once but Ki springboards back into the move for 2. Christopher Daniels has come to ringside to watch. Xavier has started working the leg, then misses his 450 splash. Ki with Kawada kicks, but he then goes to the floor to chase the Fallen Angel. Xavier uses the distraction to attack Ki from behind, and he and Daniels start smiling at each other. Daniels holds a concrete block over Low Ki’s chest and Xavier CHAIR SHOTS it! Ki is bleeding from the mouth. The fans that haven’t fallen asleep chant ‘you sold out’ at Xavier. 450 Splash means we have a new ROH Champion at 25:43. What a farce…

Rating – DUD – An absolutely appalling match, and, at this point in time an atrocious decision to put the title on Xavier. I appreciate the need to get a heel as champion, and I like the sentiment of using the belt to get someone else over (as opposed to just hand it to Daniels who doesn’t need it)…but Xavier just doesn’t deserve this. It’s a workrate promotion and Xavier just proved that in a 25 minute wrestling match, not even Low Ki can carry him to anything decent. He looked painfully average for the first 10 minutes – completely devoid of charisma as he rambled through one segment to the next. From there it got worse as he got increasingly tired and made more and more cock-ups. Low Ki was getting visibly frustrated at having to drag his worthless ass about too. Ki puts the promotion on the match with six awesome matches on consecutive shows, and is rewarded by having to put this guy over. No wonder he never gets on with the promotion these days.

Daniels, Donovan Morgan and Simply Luscious celebrate with Xavier in front of an appalled crowd. Xavier has joined The Prophecy in case you couldn’t guess. Daniels and Morgan cover Ki with an ROH banner like a dead body. The Prophecy now control the ROH title.

SIDENOTE – The only salvation of this whole ordeal is the brilliance of the booking which lead to this moment. Xavier has worked SO hard to come off as a nice guy but the subtle hints to this moment just kept coming. Xavier congratulated Daniels after a match at Round Robin Challenge. Daniels yelled at Xavier when he lost his match at Road To The Title meaning he couldn’t eliminate Ki before the Iron Man Match to crown the first champion. Then the very manner of his gaining a title shot was shady – practically backing Ki into it. It’s more pleasurable because it stands as the ultimate victory of Chris Daniels (the mastermind) over Low Ki as opposed to anything to do with Xavier. It IS a great angle, and people still remember it in 2006 to prove that. I just wish they’d have chosen somebody else on the roster to do this angle with.

Takao Omori vs Sonny Siaki

To be honest, I like what I’ve seen of Omori. He’s never looked like the best talent ever but he’s fairly solid and it’s cool to see a guy you only tend to see in puro tapes make it to ROH. He was originally scheduled to wrestle Mike Modest at this show and that could’ve been a decent match. However, the UNSCRIPTED format forced last minute changes. Sonny Siaki was drafted in at the last second to work this show. He’d made a few appearances in TNA as part of the Flying Elvises (he’s still wearing the goofy jumpsuit) but hadn’t done a lot there.

Omori overpowers Sonny straight away. Siaki backs him up a little with a superkick. To some basic standing switches. It’s amusing hearing Lovey and Murrow shill Omori as a superstar in NOAH knowing that he never amounted to anything there. From some almost painfully basic wrestling we graduate to Takao applying a chinlock. Siaki hits some lame punches so Takao boots him in the face. Finally something interesting happens as Omori drops Sonny with a piledriver. Siaki gets 2 with a flip neckbreaker. How is Sonny more over than Omori? INVERTED TOMBSTONE wins it for Omori at 07:26. Lovey promises us Siaki will be back. Thankfully that never happened.

Rating – DUD – Rubbish match. Siaki is rubbish but he could be a world beater for all he got to show against Omori, who controlled the match with his plodding offence. Instantly forgettable.

A YOUNG-looking CM Punk walks to the ring for his first ever Ring Of Honor appearance. He endears himself to the fans and says he can’t wait to make his in-ring debut. He oozes charisma even here. He’s interrupted by his perennial friend/enemy/rival Colt Cabana who complains that CM Punk has been booked by ROH whilst he hasn’t. He promises he’ll be ROH soon too.

Jay Briscoe talks about his losing streak in ROH. He said Mark too it too far by making him bleed in Boston. He vows that his losing days are over. Surprisingly good promo from young Jay.

Jay Briscoe vs Amazing Red

This is an Era Of Honor Begins rematch. These men did battle in the first ever official ROH match. Then it was Red picking up the win with the Red Star Press. Since that Jay Briscoe has only managed to notch up the solitary victory, and last month lost an awesome match against his younger brother.

Mark Briscoe offers to manage Red but gets kicked in the face instead. AWESOME string of hammerlock reversals between Jay and Red, culminating in a stand-off. They move faster than I can type. Red pulls Jay to the floor to kick at his leg. Jay lets a volley of forearms rip but they’re all blocked. Satellite inverted DDT gets Red a 2. Yeah, you read that right. Briscoe cuts Red off with a lariat shortly afterwards. Red hits a beautiful corkscrew enziguri then shifts Jay into a hiptoss driver. Infra-Red misses. Jay climbs the ropes but Red climbs after him for a SUPER CODE RED! RED STAR PRESS GETS 2! Standing Code Red blocked by flipping Red onto his head. BRUTAL powerbomb…THEN THE JAY DRILLER! Briscoe wins at 07:47.

Rating - *** - I gave the first match 3* and this was a far more sensibly wrestled contest so, I’ll go for the same again. It was shorter and maybe not as exciting due to the lack of career-shortening move insanity, but there was a better progression from start to finish and a great finish sequence.

Dixie and Elax of Special K try to sneak attack Red but the SAT save. That huge black guy from Crowning A Champion beats up a referee for no apparent reason.

Michael Shane vs Paul London – Street Fight

We saw how this UNSCRIPTED match was set up at the start of the show. Michael Shane started at Era Of Honor Begins but failed to win a contract, and since then has descended into asshole-dom. He eventually did win a contract at the fifth show, pissing Paul London off in the process since London felt he had the match won too. At Honor Invades Boston they had their first singles clash, with Shane faking a leg injury (playing off the real injury Paul London gave to Chris Marvel) to sneak the win.

New trunks for London, a big improvement on his awful singlet. He flips Shane (who has new tights too) to the outside as they waste no time going at it. Shane tries to hiptoss London over the ropes, but Paul tries to skin the cat. THROUGH THE ROPES SPEAR! Just like last month Shane launches Paul through the railings. He sets up a table on the floor but London grabs a chair. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA INTO LONDON’S CHAIR! That cuts Paul open – the first five minutes of this have been absolutely frantic. Inevitably it slows a little, until London pitches Shane head-first into a chair in the ropes, and he’s bleeding too now. Yikes, that’s a nasty one too. Shane pulls out a ladder but London comes at him from the apron and kicks the ladder into his face. London goes for a flying headscissors but simply misses and lands on the back of his head – what a nutter. Shane grabs him…SUPLEX INTO THE LADDER! London responds by lifting him to the apron for a SLINGSHOT HEADSCISSORS THROUGH THE TABLE! He goes under the ring and pulls out an even bigger ladder than the first one and props it up in the corner. SHANE GETS BACK DROPPED INTO IT! He scrambles up the aisle but LONDON RUNS UP THE F*CKING LADDER INTO A SOMERSAULT SENTON TO THE FLOOR! To the top of the other ladder. He leapfrogs it but Shane catches him with a POWERBOMB for 2! PICTURE PERFECT ELBOW gets 2 as well. London superkicks Shane then flies with the LONDON STAR PRESS! That only gets 2 too! Paul drags up the mangled wreckage of the mega-ladder and fixes it enough for it to stand upright. Shane pulls him off it. PICTURE PERFECT ELBOW OFF THE LADDER! Still it isn’t enough to win. He did that exactly how Shawn Michaels does elbows off the ladder incidentally. London moonsaults off the second rope into a kick to get Shane off the ladder again. LONDON STAR PRESS OFF THE TOP OF THE BROKEN LADDER! THAT’S ABSOLUTELY INSANE! THREE COUNT! 20:37 is your time.

Rating - **** - Unforgettable match that put both guys on the mat in independent wrestling. With major talent changes for this show ROH gave these two young guys the ball and they made damn sure to run with it in an awesome way. The first five minutes were an awesome heated brawl that totally conveyed the heat between them. Had they continued that kind of emotional involvement through the whole match we’d be talking an easy MOTYC. As is it sort of degenerated into your classic indy ladder spotfest – except Paul London is amazing so he added little extra touches of quality. WWE needs to be booking him in a ladder match as soon as possible. The crazy stuff was so good even the miserable commentary couldn’t ruin it. This match also features the debut of the vaunted ‘please don’t die’ chant. Consider this show officially stolen…

Michael Shane offers a handshake and a hug, then heels it up by clobbering London.

Earlier at a fan meet and greet Donovan Morgan talks to his trainer and tag partner in Japan, Mike Modest. He offers him a spot in The Prophecy, but Modest turns him down. They come to blows…

Christopher Daniels/Donovan Morgan vs American Dragon/Michael Modest – ROH Tag Title Match

Finals of the tournament to crown the first champions. Daniels and Dragon have been at each other’s throats since show one. Thus far it’s the Fallen Angel with the upper hand with a submission victory in the opening match of the Round Robin Challenge. It’s also unique because regular partners Morgan and Modest are on opposing teams. I don’t like their team that much so maybe they’ll look better as opponents. Fatigue could play a factor here, with The Prophecy having to come through two matches, whilst Dragon/Modest are in the final on the back of a squash victory over Divine Storm.

Modest wants to wrestle Morgan but has to start with Daniels. Donovan does eventually get into the ring and he tries to one-up his trainer. Modest lays him out with another vicious forearm. Dragon straps him into a surfboard but gets pushed into the corner allowing Daniels to tag. Fallen Angel goes after the leg with a dragon screw. Morgan starts punching at the knee too. He takes Danielson to the floor and wipes out the same rail that was already screwed after London/Shane. Modest is hot-heated and tries to interfere allowing Daniels to put Dragon in a Tarantula, whilst Morgan kicks him in the head. CRAVAT SUPLEX out of nowhere on Morgan. Despite the bad leg he gets the hot tag to Modest. Stratusphere on Daniels, then a diving headbutt for 2. The commentators call Modest out for barely bumping on this whole show. FACE-FIRST chokeslam on Daniels, before everyone gets wiped out with strikes. Morgan and Modest go the floor where it’s Morgan tasting the steel rail this time. ARABIAN PRESS by Daniels! TOPE SUICIDA BY DRAGON! That hurt his own injured leg some more. Modest gets 2 on Daniels with a urinage. SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER only gets 2 this time. Morgan comes in with the GOLDEN GATE SWING! Danielson with the REGALPLEX. ONE-LEGGED CATTLE MUTILATION! Daniels breaks the hold as I mark for the awesome selling. Dragon goes for a superplex but Morgan takes him out of the corner with a super Rydien bomb, straight into the DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT from Daniels. Danielson is even limping as he runs the ropes now. Last Rites blocked so he applies the Koji Clutch instead. Dragon wants a back superplex but falls victim to a crossbody. Dragon tries to bridge out and eats LAST RITES for the win at 14:37.

Rating - *** - At least the finals of the tournament provided the best match. It’s memorable for the one-man show of awesomeness American Dragon provided to be honest, but it was SO good it pretty much got the 3* by himself. Donovan Morgan spent more time in the ring than Daniels meaning less heeling from the Prophecy team simply because he’s not as charismatic. Don’t bring Modest back. Not because he looked like a bad wrestler, but simply because he clearly doesn’t respect the promotion to take it seriously. The guy came in, bumped like twice, took total liberties with a couple of regulars in the first round and generally looked totally average. Good night for The Prophecy as they now hold all the Ring Of Honor championships.

Dragon and Modest are sore losers and smash up the trophy that ROH are using instead of title belts. (They’ll try and pass it off like they’re being Japanese…but they’re just budget cutting. That’s one cheap looking trophy!)

The Prophecy look pretty pleased with themselves. Daniels and Morgan try to fix their battered trophy as Daniels complains about the lack of belts. He gloats about the success of his plan, and now The Prophecy have all the power. They’re starting by refusing to defend any of the belts at Glory By Honor. Daniels says Xavier will only have a non-title tune-up match against some jobber. Mark Briscoe turns up and says Jay Briscoe is the man for the…job (see what I did there). ‘That’s right…Jay Briscoe IS a big loser’ – Daniels.

Tape Rating - ** - The worst show ROH has presented to date. It felt like they were trying to cram way too much in to the three hour show, and the Ki/Xavier match was an enormous disappointment too. Credit to The Prophecy who put on three entertaining tag matches in one night, and extra credit to Paul London and Michael Shane who were given a big opportunity and grasped it with both hands. The Prophecy vs Togo/Hidaka or Dragon/Modest are good…but, being honest, you’re buying this show for London/Shane. I don’t think it’s an out-and-out MOTYC, and I don’t think it stands up as well in 2006 as it did back in 2002. It’s worth a look…but I can’t recommend the show that highly.

Top 3 Matches

3) Christopher Daniels/Donovan Morgan vs Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka (***)

2) Christopher Daniels/Donovan Morgan vs American Dragon/Michael Modest (***)

1) Paul London vs Michael Shane (****)

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