In this forth issue of R.O.H. Ringside, I will start talking about my favorite memories of ROH. I don’t want to make this an R.O.H. Review Article, because there are probably thousands of those. I just want to talk in depth about my favorite moments and matches from each show, to help get people interested in R.O.H. and help them notice there are fun storylines, great matches and all around great entertainment. I will talk about individual matches from each show and the storylines can pop up in one show to be carried over onto others.
Before I started watching this show, I must say, that I didn’t know most of the wrestlers I was about to watch. Vía the Internet, I did hear of a few wrestlers that were in T.N.A. that started out in R.O.H. I expected this to be an advantage so that I could watch the show with an open mind and get to know some of the wrestlers from the start.
The first match that I enjoyed from the show was the second match of the show and it was Amazing Red vs. Jay Briscoe. I had once seen Amazing Red in a T.N.A. match I downloaded, facing Low Ki, and man that match was unbe-freaking-lievable. So I was kind of expecting something good from Amazing Red. I never heard of Jay Briscoe before this match (who now is part of the greatest tag team in wrestling today in my opinion, and the funniest tag team). However, I must say, before I decided to start buying R.O.H. DVDs, I actually downloaded this match from the internet (one of the very very few R.O.H. matches available back then), and watched it. So I knew how this match would be before watch the D.V.D. In any case, as a semi-opener (there was an impromptu opener I mentioned in a previous article) this was a very good match. This is definitely a must see match for people who want to get into R.O.H. It’s not a match of the year candidate, nor match of the night, but it was eight minutes long, showcased both men, and was the stepping stone of what to expect in R.O.H.
The next memory is a fun little segment to introduce an important player of R.O.H. up to where I am. I watched this pair of segments with a friend, and he’s not a wrestling fan, but he found it hilarious. It was the introduction of Homicide (with his tag team partner for a few shows Boogaloo who would shortly retire from wrestling from a life threatening illness, if I’m not mistaken). From the get go I noticed Homicide’s charisma, and how he told people how pissed off at the world he was, and that he wrestled to give his son food, etc. You can kind of connect with this man, because he was just “one of us”.
However, the funny part was during the promo when they are carrying a rubber chicken. You don’t really think about the rubber chicken, thinking it’s a type of gimmick object or just something he’s carries around, but little do you know the rubber chicken will be one of my favorite moments of the show. Homicide and Boogallo (named The Natural Born Sinners) would face The Boogie Knights (Danny Drake and Mike Tobin) in a match. When this match occurred I didn’t know any of these four wrestlers at that point; only the promo by the Natural Born Sinners caught my attention, because of how intense it was.
The funny thing is I never would’ve expected the type of swerve/intro the included in the match. The referee of the match was HC Loc and up to that point I didn’t even know who he was. I thought he was just another ref from another fed. During the match, the Natural Born Sinners were disqualified for using…….the rubber chicken. My friend and I just laughed our heads off with the use of the rubber chicken. Sure, wrestling has used all types of weapons in the past, but I’ve never seen a rubber chicken used and just seeing Homicide smacking his opponents upside the head, it was just hilarious to watch.
Of course, this made the ref disqualifies the Natural Born Sinners, and in such, the Sinners turned on the ref and started beating the hell out of him. Naturally you would think that it’s just your average ref beatdown revenge on the ref, but NO! Later on in the show, we see HC Loc talking on the phone to somebody saying that he’s sick of this crap, how he wants to make something of himself in the wrestling world.
Low and behold, the next following shows we see how HC Loc joins forces with Devito to form the Carnage Crew. Loc talked about the incident with the Natural Born Sinners, however, the tag team was presenting itself as two guys who go to the nudey bar, to get away from their ugly wives and nagging kids and who came to fight to let our their aggressions out on their opponents. Of course I’m thinking oh man what a stupid way to turn a ref into a wrestler. But you know what? As time went by and the more matches they had and once they got into a great feud with Special K, they were way over with the R.O.H. crowd and they were very entertaining to watch, and they cut some good promos. I must admit though, at this time I’m watching R.O.H. Reborn, from July 2004, and I just learned in a promo with Danny Daniels and Masada (the New and Improved Carnage), that HC Loc was in E.C.W.. I don’t know if he was a wrestler or a ref, because although I knew about E.C.W.’s existence and I knew their main guys, I didn’t follow E.C.W. nor get in depth with them, but it was a surprise. I think the Carnage Crew is a good example of a tag team that was built slowly but very correctly. Something that R.O.H. did well (at least in those days).
Finally we get to the main event. I’m not going to go into a review of it, because as I said, that would be reviewing the show, but there are some things I do want to touch upon. I heard of the three wrestlers beforehand, but never really seen them in action to go in with expectations of this match, however at the same, from what I heard of these guys I did expect a good match. How did this match turn out? This is one of my favorite matches of all time (up to the July 17th 2004 show at least). Why? Many reasons. First of all, I think the Code of Honor was a good “storyline” in general to introduce Christopher Daniels as a heel, as he proclaimed his reasons against the Code of Honor and didn’t shake hands nor before nor after the match (due to this, in future shows he would create The Prophecy; which I will get into in future articles). And Second of all, the match itself was unbelievable. The first match of the year candidate in R.O.H. . It’s a triple threat match done the correct way. The three men laid out their all, in which a winner was hard to determine. My favorite part of the match was the “Kick-a-Thon”. Daniels was sitting up, and Bryan Danielson and Low Ki took turns kicking him in the back, with each kick being harder than the previous one, to prove who had the best kick between the two, till finally both go for the kick at the same time and nail each other in the shin. I don’t what I can say about this match, because anything I say will not be enough to give it enough credit. I think any wrestling or casual fan should watch it.
So in summary, a great first show, which I think has a variety of things for every type of fan. Great wrestling with the two matches I mentioned, some comedy with the Sinner’s rubber chicken promo and usage, and a good ref to wrestler storyline. I don’t see it any different then what a W.W.E. Raw would give you.
— Jose Perez
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