ROH's Joe Vs. Punk II Review

Jonathan WilsonContributor IINovember 8, 2008

Joe Vs. Punk II
ROH Event #51
October 16, 2004

TJ Dalton vs Davey Andrews
Andrews is of course the former ROH school standout who's been MIA for a few years. I have no idea who Dalton is though. He looks a lot like a tall Shannon Moore though. They lock up and The Carnage Crew runs in and destroys the pair. They're here because of Foley counting the 3 fall the night before while Loc was inside of a garbage can. Can't say I really care about Andrews or Dalton and for some weird reason, I'm a fan of the CC. So I have no problem with the match not happening in favour of a short promo by Carnage Crew. Not Rated.

Delirious vs Jay Lethal
Lethal is still in the midst of his original post-Special K/current protege of Samoa Joe push. He was losing a lot, but he was putting up strong efforts against some of the best in the company. Delirious wasn't full time yet, so he's still without a singles win in ROH. Delirious shows off his skills by blocking the Dragon Suplex (Full Nelson Suplex) and giving Lethal a tough match. Lethal goes for a top rope splash, but Delirious jumps up and hits an Ace Crusher in midair. Fantastic spot. Delirious hits the Shadows over Hell for the 2 count. Yup, he's not full time yet. Lethal attempts the Dragon Suplex again with success. That's enough to get the 3 count and give him a much deserved win. The match was fairly predictable as it normally is with part timers against regulars. However, the match was structured in that Delirious didn't feel like a jobber. The Ace Crusher spot was incredible and easily one of the top spots of the show. Both guys put up a great effort for an exhibition-type match. 2 3/4 Stars.

Daizee Haze vs Traci Brooks
The commentators makes reference to this being the first women's match in ROH since the days of Alexis Laree (Mickie James). So that was at least a year earlier. SHIMMER wouldn't begin for another year. A lot of technical wrestling to begin. No, seriously. Haze is working her ass off trying to put together a good match. The girls pulls out the 2 count segment where they keep reversing each other. They start a little wrestling on their feet and Traci hits a closeline to pick up the victory. I'm not a fan of the finish. Haze was kicking ass for most of the match and all Traci did was hit a closeline to win. However, for a women's match, this was very good. No botching, some nice technical wrestling and a much better match than I expected. The crowd reaction was the only thing besides the finish that hurt this match. I would of expected a smarky crowd like ROH to be able to appreciate this. 2 Stars.

Trent Acid vs Matt Sydal vs Josh Daniels vs Angel Dust
Trent Acid was the former king of the multi-men match, but ever since getting hurt in a title match against Samoa Joe (Testing the Limits) he had been in a losing streak. Speaking of losing streaks, the same goes for the Special K guys (Including the future Azriel, Angel Dust). Sydal was still not a regular. Daniels, I'm not totally sure on. I know he was a last minute addition to the weekend, but I believe he wrestled a little more than Sydal did in ROH. Pre-match handshakes includes Angel Dust doing so, which was a surprise since Special K had never really done that before. Daniels brutalizes Angel Dust to start the match. Some spots outside of the ring by the flyers. Inside the ring, Daniels chops the hell out of Angel Dust and Sydal. Acid thinks it's pretty funny, so Daniels chops him.

Finish comes with Daniels hitting a German Suplex on Angel Dust while Acid hits his finisher on Sydal. Daniels gets the 3 count right before Acid. The more I see of Daniels, the more I like. He reminds me a bit of Chris Benoit. Maybe not the most charismatic wrestler, but he's very solid and can put on a great ass kicking. Like the first *official* match, it's very predictable. When you have two wrestlers who's gimmick was to lose and a third guy who was still part time, the only one who made sense to win was the guy who's a potential Pure Title challenger. It doesn't help matters that you had so many low people in the match. For what it was, it was decent though. It was nice seeing Becky Bayless though. 2 Stars.

Chad Collyer & Nigel McGuiness w/ Ricky Steamboat vs Dan Maff and BJ Whitmer w/ Mick Foley
This is first (?) battle between pure wrestling and hardcore wrestling. Before the match, Steamboat and Foley cuts a promo in the ring. Steamboat says how hardcore wrestling is nothing more than garbage wrestling which was proven last night when a garbage can was used. Steamboat tells Foley that the garbage company called and said when his next book fails, he can have a job as a garbage man. Holy shit...Steamboat just cut a joke. It's like we're in an alternate reality. Foley calls Steamboat and pure wrestlers softcore, which is just a repeat from the night before. He then goes on and on about bashing Ric Flair. Yup...nevermind the pure wrestling vs hardcore wrestling, keep talking about someone who will most likely never step foot in ROH. Anyways, on to the match. The match starts off very technical which works in the favour of the Pure Wrestling team. I swear Collyer is Joe Malenko's son. Match is going along fine until the Carnage Crew hits the ring and attacks Maff and Whitmer drawing the DQ. Steamboat is pissed that someone interrupted a fine technical match. Steamboat is so upset that he calls the Carnage Crew 'Dickheads' on the mic. Fuck, charismatic Steamboat is awesome.

Steamboat grabs a chair and chases the Crew out of ringside. Just as when the cat is away, the mice will play, Foley gets on the mic and restarts this match as hardcore. That means Maff and Whitmer beats Collyer and Nigel up and the match quality drops greatly. After several minutes of random brawling, Nigel and Whitmer ends up back in the ring. Steamboat runs out and sees what Foley started. Like a great coach, he yells for Nigel to stop being hardcore. That leads to Nigel using his technical holds again and tries for a few pin attempts. The final attempt is enough to get the win. Steamboat proclaims pure wrestling won since they're better. The ending is beyond corny. Having it end in a cover without Whitmer being hurt made the match look like a joke. The entire hardcore brawling was flat out terrible. The two positives of the match was the technical showpiece in the beginning and Steamboat on the mic. Nothing compares to hearing Steamboat call someone a dickweed. The match suffered from not knowing what it was supposed to be and as a result, it's a clusterfuck. 2 Stars.

Carnage Crew vs TJ Dalton and Davey Andrews
This match was of course set up earlier in the night. Andrews and Dalton jumps Crew at the sound of the bell. The young stars look to pull out the upset of the night, but CC fights back. Carnage Crew hits their Spike Piledriver to win the match. Short, meaningless, and yet boring. I would of much preferred having a team like Dunn and Marcos in there wrestling the CC. It was obvious that Dalton and Andrews wouldn't pull out the upset and since I still didn't learn to give a damn about them in the hour since their match happened, I cared little for this. This is the point where you can really realize how badly ROH was hurting for stars for this weekend. So many people were hurt or at other shows. 1 Star.

Homicide and Rocky Romero vs Jack Evans and Roderick Strong
This is the first meeting between the Rottweilers and Generation Next. Both are heels, but that doesn't really matter in a smark company like ROH. Romero is currently one half of the tag champions (With the untalented Ricky Reyes), so if Gen Next wins, they'll get a future title match. Homicide and Romero controls the match earlier on by keeping Evans alone in the ring. With the ref distracted with Strong, they lock in a double team submission with Romero doing a Camel Clutch and 'Cide a Boston Crab. Strong gets the hot tag and he takes out both members. Tag to Evans and we get a Gen Next trademark move. Strong has Romero up for a torture rack while Evans jumps on Romero and hits a moonsault on Homicide while Strong drops down with a backbreaker on Romero. 'Cide hits a Lariat on Strong, but the ref says he's not the legal man. It seemed more like Evans just missed his cue to break it up. Evans hits the 630 on Romero to win the match for Gen Next. After the match, Homicide gives Gen Next a hand and offers a handshake. Cheap shot to Strong and Evans gets a Cop Killer. While Strong is carrying Evans out, Romero grants them a future title shot (Weekend of Thunder Night 1). No Reyes was a disappointment only because it meant no title match. However, all four men performed excellently. Gen Next was in rare face mode which worked nicely for Strong and Evans. I'm kinda bummed that Evans and Strong never got a title run together. To some degree, I prefer them over Strong and Aries. Nonetheless, the first solid match of the night that didn't feel like a time filler. 3 3/4 Stars.

Alex Shelley vs Jimmy Jacobs - I Quit Match
Jacobs was a last minute replacement once CM Punk was pulled out of the match to fill in for Steve Corino in the main event. However, these two have had a feud for a few months, so it works out nicely. Jacobs goes beserk early on and even pulls out a spike from his furry boots. On the outside, Shelley hits a Shell Shock to the barricade sign. Sick sound. Back in, Shelley duct tapes Jacobs' hands in the corner and uses a Kendo stick on his back. Jacobs pulls out yet another spike from his furry boots to untape himself. The spike turns out to hurt Jacobs though as Shelley busts Jacobs open. Shelley alternates between hitting Jacobs with the Kendo stick and the spike. Border City Stretch is applied, but Jacobs won't tap. Jacobs eventually locks in his own Border City Stretch, but Shelley gets out of it. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code through a chair, but Shelley reverses it into the DANGEROUSSSS through the chair. Sick spot. Shelley locks in the Border City Stretch again to make Jacobs tap. Post-match has Shelley attack Jacobs again with Roderick Strong coming down to help out. Ricky Steamboat runs down to break it up, but the Carnage Crew (Damn, they're on a lot) to double team Steamboat. This brings out Maff, Whitmer and Foley to savage Steamboat. Foley says hardcore just saved him, so the score is 1-1. I'm not a huge Jacobs singles match fan, but he and Shelley put on one hell of a match. Jacobs still had the underdog feel to him where you wanted him to win, while Shelley was a perfect asshole. So the two characters mixed well together. Several memorable spots showed that hardcore wrestling can have psychology behind it too. That's something that the Pure vs Hardcore failed to do. Overall, great way to lead into the main event. 4 Stars.

Samoa Joe vs CM Punk - ROH Title Match
This was originally supposed to be Samoa Joe vs Steve Corino. Zero One pulled Corino out a few days before, so instead, we got Joe vs Punk II in Punk's home city of Chicago. Not only did Punk prove that Joe couldn't beat him at the last match, but he proved that his Pepsi Plunge could beat Joe at Scramble Cage Melee when he hit the move and Homicide covered Joe for the win. Now, I'm not going to cover the entire match in detail because A) It's a long match B) I'm bound to forget some things and C) It's something you just need to see for yourself. In their first match of the trilogy, Punk used headlocks to wear the big man down while absorbing all of his hits to hopefully make Joe so tired that he can beat him. Punk found out that Joe can go 60 minutes. This time around though, Punk changes his strategy a little. Instead of just trying to wear Joe down with headlocks, he adds in a few power moves to help wear Joe down faster. Joe meanwhile, tries keeping Punk on the mat more. It's around this point, some guys yells boring and Punk yells "There's the door."

You also see a lot of different moves by both guys. Most of Punk's major moves are ones that he doesn't use often. Punk pulls out the old moonsault, rope walking into a legdrop on the arm and even Joe's own Ole kicks on the outside. It's both men's trademark moves that are reversed most of the time. Punk isn't able to hit the Pepsi Twist while Joe seems to be incapable of keeping Punk down long enough to hit the Ole Kick. With 15 minutes to go, the commentators leaves the booth just so they can watch the match in the crowd. Punk gets in several near 3 attempts. On the top of the turnbuckle, both men fights it out. Joe ends up Superplexing Punk. Back to the other turnbuckle, Joe starts nailing Punk hard, but Punk goes crazy hitting him with quick punches that really puts over just how badly he wants this. Joe fights back and we get the 10 second notice which gets a boo from the crowd. Joe hits the Muscle Buster from the middle rope. They land just as the countdown gets to 0. Yet another time limit draw. Punk hands Joe the title and we leave the show. After a very good first 60 minute draw, it seemed impossible to match or even surpass it, especially with only 3 days notice. However, the strengths of this match is what the other match had issues in which kept it from being 5 stars. One of my biggest issues with the first match was the obvious spot calling by Punk. There was several moments when Punk held his mouth to Joe's ears for a good 10 seconds. For this match, the spot calling was a lot less noticeable and I really only noticed it near the end, which I can get over since both men were tired. This match also had the benefit of the story of the first match. You now had both wrestlers forced to try new things which made this match a lot less predictable. This match does have one huge problem though. Waiting until 10 seconds to tell us the time remaining hurt the ending. I won't say it killed the match, but it's just one of those things that can keep a match from becoming 5 stars. Either way, this is still one of the best matches in ROH history and they did the seemingly impossible and topped their last match. 4 1/2 - 5 Stars
*I really want to watch it again to see what I'll give the final rating.*

The quality of this show really depends on how you look at it. You had more average and under than you had good and above. However, the good takes up 2/3 of the show. At the same time, you're lacking so many of your top stars. Bryan Danielson, Low-Ki, John Walters (Pure Champion), Ricky Reyes (1/2 Tag Champion), Austin Aries, Colt Cabana (Hurt), Ace Steel, Steve Corino, Briscoes (I believe they were gone by now), Jimmy Rave and even Julius Smokes weren't on the show. However, this show SHOULD OF been a disaster, however; you had several good matches with one historic match. On top of all that, you had Steamboat calling someone a dickweed.

Not your best ROH show, but it's worth the 10 dollars when you buy it during a sale.

Best Match: Samoa Joe vs CM Punk
Worst Match: TJ Dalton and Davey Andrews vs Carnage Crew

Overall Grade: B