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DVD Review: Burgan reviews Final Battle 2002 - Jody Fleisch, Steve Corino, Low Ki, Samoa Joe

Aug 10, 2004 - 3:48:00 AM
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By Derek Burgan, Torch Team Contributor

Torch DVD Review
ROH Final Battle 2002
December 28, 2002
Philadelphia, PA at the Murphy Rec


This show follows Night of the Butcher.

Were walking into the Hall of Doom this week and heading back in time thanks to some stupid plot device from Lex Luthor so that we can watch Ring of Honors last show of 2002.

On to the show!

***We start off with C.M. Punk and Colt Cabana in a car driving to the show. Cabana is still bragging about his victory over Punk at Night of the Butcher. Punk tells an unseen Ace Steel to shut off the camera while hes driving but Steel says the material hes getting is good enough for Jerry Springerr.. Punk is mad that no one is helping him find the building and Cabana responded with Hey, Im a passenger kind of guy. Priceless. In a scene which must be a first in the world of professional wrestling, we watch Punk parallel park. The guys got out but Punk was getting pissed and said that spending 13 hours in a car with Colt Cabana is like going to the dentist. Punk then stormed off. Im no geography wiz, but does it really take 13 hours to go from Chicago to Philly? I have to think thats a worked number unless Punk drives slower than my grandmother.

***Gary Michael Capetta was with Steve Corino and Capetta said the buzz going around ROH is that Corino is putting together an elite group of wrestlers. Corino balked at Capetta calling him the King of Old School because that nickname was given to him by a company that put him $32,000 in debt. Well, that beats George Costanza being called Koko. Corino shot on ROHs fans and wanted to know where they were when his car was getting repossessed. He then said he spent the last year in Japan reinventing himself in Zero-One. Corino said hes back to win all of ROHs belts and take control of Ring of Honor. All of a sudden they are interrupted by Allison Danger (the real life sister of Steve Corino). Danger said she had a message from home. Corino then blasted Danger for cutting in on his promo and told her to go be a star on her time.

***Highlights aired from a match between Jay Lethal vs Homicide. This was in Black & White, heavily clipped, and apparently shot for ROH High Impact TV. Homicide won the match using the cop Killah.

(1) C.M. Punk beat Colt Cabana and won an ROH contract. We started off the show with announcer Chris Lovey saying he was here joined as always by Ray Morrow. I point that out because this was the first time EVER for Ray Morrow. For those interested, Morrow is the alias for ROH cameraman Doug Gentry just as Chris Lovey is the nom de plum of ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky. Bet you never in a million years thought youd see the phrase nom de plum in a wrestling review. (Editors Note: and they shouldnt be reading it now since nom de plum is French for name of pen which translates to authors pen names. A better example of a nom de plum would be Stephen King using Richard Bachman or Vice President Dick Cheney using Bill OReilly.) Youre going to have to take the match time here with a grain of salt because right at the start of the match I realized they were doing some clipping in the editing room.

What I most enjoyed about the match is that it heavily referred to the previous encounter Cabana and Punk had a Night of the Butcher. For instance, Punk grabbed Cabanas arm and went to walk the ropes, but this time Colt hit the ropes with his other arm causing Punk to crotch himself. Punk was hitting on all cylinders in the match by nailing such rarely seen moves (at least in his move set) like a belly to belly suplex from the top rope. Punk then picked Cabana up for an airplane spin (were going Old School) straight to a Rob Van Dam-like split legged moonsault. Someone lit a fire under Punks ass tonight! Punk tried to hit his reverse huracanrana that he nailed during their last match, but Cabana pushed Punk off. Punk then hit a Shining Wizard for a two count. The Finish came after Punk hit the Pepsi Plunge. (9:45) Solid match.

***Homicide ran into the Backseat Boyz backstage and he said there is no hard feelings after their match at Glory By Honor as Homicide blames Steve Corino for everything that happened.

***Gary Michael Capetta was in the ring and he introduced Christopher Daniels and Simply Luscious. Daniels came to the ring and feigned shaking hands with Capetta but grabbed the microphone instead at the last second. Daniels said he is here to right a wrong and brings up that cute little minx Alexis Larees jumping of Luscious at Night of the Butcher. Daniels called out Laree and then Luscious called her out as well. For some God knows reason Chris Lovey keeps calling Luscious Ronnie Stevens. Yeah, I realize Billy Gunns real name is Monty Sapp but I dont need to hear it when I watch SmackDown. Finally Alexis came to the ring. Daniels proposed a match between Laree and Luscious to take place March 22. MARCH 22?! This show is taking place in December! Anyhoo, Alexis does the ol Why wait? routine and gets jumped by Luscious to start the match.

(2) Simply Luscious (w/Christopher Daniesls) beat Alexis Laree. Laree came back quickly with a spear and started throwing girl punches but as Luscious had the referee distracted, Christopher Daniels came in to nail Laree with The Last Rites. Luscious then made the cover. (0:30)

You know, I think Alexis Laree has been under contract for the WWE for almost ONE F---ING YEAR and to date she has been in one stupid backstage skit. Meanwhile a $250,000 Rat Search is going to unveil the latest dumb blonde that will make watching Raw that much more boring. Unreal.

***As Alexis was taken to the back Steve Corino came to the ring and grabbed a microphone. Steve told Christopher Daniels that this isnt personal, this is business. Corino than said that 2002 was a great year for him as the crowd chanted Zero-One! Corino then went off on the fans and even said things had gotten so bad for him before he became a superstar that he was so poor I even dressed like these guys. Somehow I doubt Steve Corino would caught dead in a Green Lantern hockey jersey. Corino said that in Japan he made more money than Paul Heyman owed me. ZING! Corino said hes putting the Prophecy on notice as his group is going to take all of ROHs titles. Corino told Luscious (his real life girlfriend) that he cant have her telling his secrets to Christopher Daniels, so he kicks Luscious to the curb. Luscious leaves the ring crying. Id bet anything the WWE does this same angle one day except its Sean Waltman running from the ring in tears after getting dumped by Chyna. Daniels went to console Luscious. Corino stayed in the ring and talked about not needing a nickname and this was becoming THE PROMO THAT WOULD NEVER END. Corino then called out Homicide. The Notorious 187 came to the ring and the two went at it for a short bit until Corino bailed out when Homicide pulled out THE GHETTO FORK!

***Donavon Morgan & Christopher Daniels beat Dunn & Marcos in a match taped for ROH High Impact TV. Bad guys won after hitting their finishers simultaneously in the middle of the ring.

***Backstage Da Hit Squad were excited about being able to get their hands on the Backseat Boyz and Special K. Mafia is still livid that the Backseat Boyz invaded ROH and won a match thanks to that asshole Steve Corino against our teacher Homicide. Mafia said that the Backseats will be introduced to ROHs sickest bastards tonight.

(3) Deranged & AngelDust (w/Special K) beat The Backseat Boyz and Da Hit Squad in a Scramble match. Ray Morrow said that Jay Lethal, seen earlier in a clip for an ROH High Impact match, was the newest member of Special K and would now be known as Hydro. Deranged goofed on the Backseats to start the match by going to shake Trent Acids hand but grabbed his own crotch instead while flipping Acid off. Acid responded by slapping the taste out of Deranged mouth. Mafia went on to single handedly destroy both members of Special K. In a hilarious moment, Da Hit Squad mocked the Backseat Boyz dancing before powerbombing them onto each other. Dan Maff getting his groove on! While everyone was outside the ring, Deranged did a move that Ray Morrow called a springboard something to the floor. Later Mafia grabbed Hydro in the ring and powerbombd him onto the members of Special K outside the ring. Tons of spots followed, too many to keep up with. Finish came when Mafia had Deranged up for the Burning Hammer, but Dixie came into the ring and whacked him with a came while Izzy nailed Mafia using his cast. Deranged made the pin. (10:25) Fun scramble to watch.

***Clips of Ace Steel vs. Jay Briscoe for ROH High Impact TV aired. Briscoe won with the Jay Driller.

(4) Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan beat the S.A.T. in a 2/3 falls match to retain the ROH tag team championship. S.A.T. pretty much controlled the first 7 minutes of the match and it all led to a weird move in which they put Morgan in a Boston Crab while locking Daniels in a Camel Clutch with the two Prophecy members right on top of each other. Really neat visual. The Prophecy took over the next 7 minutes of the match and took the first fall after hitting Jose withRevelations (combination Powerbomb/Neckbreaker.) The S.A.T. finally brought their speed up a notch and ended up hitting Morgan with a DDT when he was in position for a Doomsday Device. The S.A.T. got the second fall of the match after finishing off Daniels with The Spanish Fly. In all honestly, that move is pretty damn cool looking. A crazy move almost killed a Maximo after Joel hit an innovative DDT on Morgan sending the Prophecy member to the floor. Joel was on his hands and knees by the ropes and Jose ran over to jump off of Joel to the outside. Well, that was the plan as instead Jose hit the ropes and flopped straight down onto the ring apron. OUCH! Back in the ring Morgan hit the Golden Gate Swing on Joel, but the pin was broken up by Jose. Joel returned the favor by breaking up the pin after Daniels hit the Angels Wings on Jose. Daniels Best. Moonsault. Ever. Found no-one home and Daniels was soon victim to the Maximo Explosion! The S.A.T. couldnt keep the momentum up for long as the finish came after Daniels hit Joel with a STO and the Last Rites shortly thereafter. (24:50) The match wasnt horrible, but the S.A.T. are SO MUCH more fun to watch in Scramble matches with their crazy moves. Also, after the match Daniels and Morgan held up tag team title belts. Is this new? I dont remember seeing these before. Wasnt it just a stupid trophy?!!

***Samoa Joe beat up on the Outcast Killaz during a match taped for ROH High Impact TV.

***Special K ran into Jody Fleisch and got him to party with them.

(5) The New Christopher Street Connection (w/Allison Danger) beat The Carnage Crew by DQ. Sometimes the poor acoustics in the Murphy Rec drive me insane. Buff E. has been replaced in the CSC by SOME GUY whose name I coulndt understand even after replaying it 20 times. They were also accompanied to the ring by Allison Danger and SOME OTHER GUY. Of course there was no announcing during this match so your guess is as good as mine as to who they were. The match is also HEAVILY CLIPPED, so keep that in mind when you see the time. Maces new partner was made sure everyone knew he was not gay, which made no sense whatsoever. Loc and DeVito grabbed Boogaloos hubcaps and started to beat the hell out of everyone, causing the DQ. Loc even yelled to the crowd Do you wanna see some gay bashing?!! WOW. Even the ref got blasted with the hubcap. Okay, I popped for that. (1:22) Smithers...are they booing me? Uh, no, they're saying Boo-urns! Boo-urns!

***Backstage Homicide shot a promo putting over how big tonight is for his career. Homicide brought up that hes on parole and a single parent. Homicide said the only thing he has going for him is Ring of Honor and if hes champ hell be paid more money. With more money he can provide his son a better life. Awwwww.

(6) Jody Fleisch beat The Amazing Red. Fleish was wearing camouflage pants, which is bad look for anyone not named Sgt. Slaughter. Very hot start to the match and the crowd pops huge. When Red was outside the ring Fleish hit a springboard Shooting Star Press to the floor. HOLY SHIT! 5 minutes into the match Special K came to ringside. Red hit what I could only describe as an inverted Styles Clash for a 2 count. Red went up top for the Infra-Red, but Special K pulled Fleisch out of the ring. Fleisch then used the ropes for a springboard 720 DDT for the win. (6:15) Fun while it lasted, but you gotta think this is a major disappointment considering who was in the match.

***After the match Special K and Fleisch jumped Red. The S.A.T. ran in for the save but they were overwhelmed as well. Divine Storm & Trinity hit the ring next, but they also found themselves at the receiving end of Special Ks boots. Out came Da Hit Squad and former ECW mainstay J.T. Smith (dont ask.) This evened out the odds until the gigantic black guy from the crowd made his way to the ring. Smith told Da Hit Squad that this guy was cool, until he Chokeslammed Smith. WHHHOOOOO! Special Ks music blared as they continued to beatdown everyone with the big black guy in tow.

(7) Xavier beat Paul London to retain the ROH Championship. Before the match Xavier ran down the crowd and said I should be booing you! Xavier said he had taken on Low Ki, Jay Briscoe and that Absolute Jackass Styles. Xavier then called out London. Not the most exciting match in the world to start, but really picked up near the end. Xavier bailed out of the ring when London set up for the Shooting Star Press, so in a great spot London just turned around and hit the move while Xavier was on the floor. Cue: Holy Shit! chants. Back in the ring London again tried a Shooting Star Press, but found no one home. Xavier made a roll up attempt but London kicked out at two. London then hit a DDT for a three count, but the ref immediately said that Xavier had his legs on the ropes so the match had to go on. The crowd was NOT happy at this. Cue Bullshit! chant. The finish of the match came when Xavier hit London with a Cobra Clutch suplex to set-up an X-Breaker. (17:00) Lovey quickly yelled Damn it! after the pin in a very Jim Ross-like call. London really came across like a big star here and it was obvious the crowd wanted him to win in the worst way.

***Gary Micahel Capetta is with Special K and a couple Special K sluts. The boys goof on Capetta and keep trying to rip off his rug. Its my real hair! Capetta finally gives up the interview and bails. The big black guy kicks out the cameraman and stands guard outside the door. Da Hit Squad approached and he asked them Do you have a VIP pass? I dont know why I laughed so much at this. Mafia and Monsta Mack wanted to know who he was and the guy said Im Slugger, special security for Special K. Maff got right into Sluggers face in a scene that reminded me of a night I myself had in Boston many years ago in which a bouncer confiscated my license by saying it was fake (it wasnt). Even after saying me and my party would leave to go to another bar the jackass wouldnt give my I.D. back. I never came so close to getting my ass kicked in my life. Needless to say I never got my license and to this day I wait for the moment when I can smash a bottle across the head of a bouncer. I dont even care which one, they are all the same. Anyhoo, Mack pulled Mafia away as Slugger said Get a VIP pass or get the hell out of my face. Mack said they would come back with a VIP pass.

***Steve Corino came to the ring again amidst a lot of boos from the crowd. Corino challenges them to go down to shut him up. No one takes him up on the offer. Corino said they can shout all the chants they want because we already got your money. Corino said you cant have a main event without him. Homicide made his way to the ring for the main event and he was immediately jumped by Corino. Homicide was given a Northern Lights Bomb and three straight piledrivers. Meanwhile, Samoa Joe had made his way to the ring but made not effort to help Homicide. Low Ki comes to the ring and realized what happened and he was pissed. Rob Feinstein and a group of officials came down to the ring to help Homicide to the back. Feinstein said that Steve Corino would take Homicides place in the Main Event. I dont think jumping a guy before his match to take his spot is in the Code of Honor.

(8) Low Ki vs. Steve Corino vs. Samoa Joe vs. The American Dragon went to a 45 minute time limit draw. Dragon and Ki started the match and Dragon had a great moment when he went to tag in Joe but pulled his hand back at the last second. PSYCHE! Dragon then pulled out the Giant Swing! You dont see that move too much anymore. 13 minutes in Dragon was holding Low Ki and hitting him with some of the stiffest knees to the head you will ever see and then hit him with a neck crank suplex. Yikes. Corino then tagged in and put Low Ki in an arm submission. Here is one of the many reasons why I love Low Ki so much. While his arm was being worked over, Ki just kept kicking Corino straight in the face. It was insane. When Ki got the offense he then REALLY started kicking the shit out of Corino with a series of kicks that make Tajiris look like Jackie Gaydas. That shits gotta hurt. At the 20 minute mark Joe was chopping the hell out of Dragons chest and Dragon would keep crawling back up for more. Thank you sir! May I have another?!

26 minutes in Dragon had Joe locked in the Cattle Mutilation and Get This, Low Ki came in to break the hold by jumping on Dragons stomach. But DRAGON DIDNT MOVE. So heres Low Ki standing on Dragon while hes doing a bridge until Corino comes over and gives Low Ki a clothesline. INSANE. At the 31 minute point both Ki and Dragon were stumbling around when Ki went outside the ring and gave Dragon a vertical suplex on the f---ing floor!! JESUS! In a great scene, Ki then tried to drag Dragon into the ring but Dragon was totally dead weight. This was so cool. Corino came into the match and deliberately pissed off the fans by putting Dragon in a chinlock. This is broken up when Low Ki casually walks over and stiff kicks Corino right in the face. DAMN! Corino soon had Joe in a figure four, but this was broken up when Low Ki and Dragon went to the opposite sides of the ring and both hit flying headbutts!!

Five minutes to go in the match and Joe locked the STF on Dragon but this was stopped when Low Ki gave a dropkick straight to Joes face. Ki then hit Corino with that Matrix-like kick off the second rope. God is that move cool. Dragon and Ki then stood toe to toe in the ring throwing STIFF elbows to each others face. This was capped by a Dragon ROARING ELBOW! Joe kicked Ki hard while he was down but Ki was having none of that. Ki popped up and put Joe on the mat to deliver some stiff kicks of his own. Corino then suplexd Ki off the top rope. Joe then gave Corino an Ace Crusher off the top rope. This is crazy! In the ring all four began knocking the crap out of each other. Ki hit Joe with the Ki Krusher in a Holy Shit moment and then put Steve Corino in the Dragon Clutch. The time expired just as Corino was tapping out. (45:00) What a f---ing match!

***Backstage Da Hit Squad returned with Divine Storm, The S.A.T., the Amazing Red and J.T. Smith. They stormed Special K and booted them out of the locker-room. Slugger had a staredown with Mafia and said You guys dont know what the hell you got yourselves into.

***Backsage, in black and white, the Carnage Crew talked about working 12 hour days, having ugly wives, screaming kids, and bills they cant pay. Welcome to Indy Wrestling! The Crew say they dont have a sense of humor, but they do take enjoyment in beating the hell out of people. They also plug their upcoming weapons match against Da Hit Squad at the next show.

***Backstage, also in black and white, Low Ki said that he loves to fight in ROH. Ki said he has to prepare for three goals so that 2003 will be a success. 1) I will hurt Xavier 2) I will destroy the Prophecy 3) I will wear the ROH title around my waist This list certainly beats Monsta Macks goal of eating 50 Krispy Kreme donuts in under 4 minutes.

***Gary Michael Capetta was with Steve Corino and Capetta wanted to know who the first member of Steve Corinos new team was. Corino said that first of all, his team didnt even need a name and would simply be called The Group. Ok then. Corino then introduced his first member, his girlfriend Simply Luscious. The two kissed and Corino promised that he would unveil his second member at the next show.

Overall Thoughts: What a main event to close out the first year of ROH. A Must See match. Click Here to purchase the disc or head on over to www.ROHwrestling.com and check out all the other videos they have to offer. They are actually having a sale right now in which all 2002 and 2003 tapes and DVDs are only $15.

ROH DVD Guy Derek Burgan has been writing for the PWTorch website for 3 years. His hobbies include watching the movie Outfoxed Rupert Murdochs war on journalism, reading Thomas Harris Red Dragon and calling up the Puroresu Power Hour Radio Show and repeatedly ask if The Hurricane could defeat Bob Sapp in a shoot fight until they hang up. If you have any questions, corrections, feedback, comments and ideas, he can be reached at: derek@gumgod.com


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