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MATCH #1: Homicide vs. Steve Corino, One Year Anniversary, 2.8.03
Corino is accompanied by his Group of Samoa Joe, Michael Shane, C.W. Anderson, and Simply Luscious. Homicide attacks right away to start the fight. He hits a t-bone suplex for two. Homicide then locks on an STF and Corino reaches the ropes. A lariat gets another two-count for Homicide. Corino responds with a back suplex. Now Corino takes control, hitting a leg lariat and then locking on a Crossface. Homicide reaches the ropes. Corino hits a powerslam for two. Homicide avoids a charge in the corner and hits Corino with the Face Wash. He tries a super hurricanrana but Corino blocks it and hits a bulldog off the second rope for two. Homicide fights back with a neckbreaker. It appears as though some of the fans are Homicide’s friends and they’re getting into shouting matches with The Group. Homicide hits an Ace Crusher off the top rope for two. He follows with what sort of looks like a Michinoku Driver and Corino kicks out. Corino tries an inverted DDT but Homicide reverses it and referee Paul Turner catches an inadvertent boot to the gut. Homicide uses Turner to hit a Shining Wizard and that gets two. They take it to the floor and Homicide sets Corino on a chair. Homicide goes for the Tope Con Hilo but Corino moves and Homicide crashes hard to the floor. The entire Group has to throw Homicide back in the ring and Corino covers for two. Corino hits the Old School Expulsion for two. He follows with the Northern Lights Bomb but Homicide kicks out again. Corino locks on the Cobra Sleeper and Homicide reaches the ropes. Surprisingly Corino breaks the hold but then he pulls Homicide back out to the center of the ring and locks on the Cobra Sleeper again, this time adding a body scissors. Homicide passes out at 12:10. The match was decent back-and-forth stuff, and I like the finish.
The real story happens after the match, as a full-scale riot breaks out, with fans hopping the rail and trying to charge the ring. The locker room empties as everyone tries to regain control, with wrestlers fighting fans all over ringside. This was a huge deal at the time and was played as a total shoot, which definitely worked to generate some buzz. Of course we know now that it was a work, but good for everyone involved for making it seem legit.
MATCH #2: Number One Contender’s Trophy Match – Homicide vs. CM Punk, Round Robin Challenge II, 4.26.03
Homicide is accompanied by Julius Smokes. Punk is accompanied by his girlfriend at the time, Lucy Fer (Daffney). Homicide locks on a quick STF right off the bat and Punk grabs the ropes. Back in the ring they take it down to the mat and jockey for position. Punk starts working the arm but Homicide fights him off and hits a t-bone suplex for two. Homicide keeps up the pressure but Punk comes back with a Shining Wizard that sends Homicide to the floor. Punk follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Punk hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and the Pepsi Twist for two. Lucy interferes from the floor and Smokes takes umbrage with the referee. Punk misses a slingshot senton and Homicide makes him pay with a series of kicks to the back. Homicide then locks on a surfboard but Punk escapes and puts on an STF, so Homicide reaches the ropes. Punk goes for the STF again but Homicide slips out of it and puts on a Koji Clutch. For some reason Homicide breaks the hold. Punk hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. He goes for a spinning toehold and Homicide kicks him to the floor, and then follows him out with the Tope Con Hilo. Homicide goes to work on the leg but then runs right into a belly-to-belly suplex. Back in the ring Homicide kicks Punk in the knee and hits a Back Drop Driver for two. Homicide hits a super hurricanrana for two. He goes back to the top but Punk joins him up there and hits the Pepsi Plunge but Homicide kicks out. That’s stupid. Homicide fights right back with an Ace Crusher and the Lariat but Punk kicks out of that. Punk hits the hammerlock DDT but it only gets two. Homicide hits a sort-of Michinoku Driver and that gets a two-count. He goes for the Cop Killa and they get sloppy with their reversals. Homicide ends up with is new version of the STF and Punk is forced to tap out at 15:29. That was going along all well and good until Homicide essentially no-sold the Pepsi Plunge and things got sloppy after that.
MATCH #3: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Samoa Joe, Do or Die, 5.31.03
Homicide is accompanied by Julius Smokes. Joe has been the Champion since 3.22.03, and this is his third defense. This is the first time the ROH Title has been referred to as the ROH “World” Title, since Joe recently defeated Zebra Kid in London as part of a FWA/ROH joint show on May 17, 2003.
They start with some chain wrestling, trading armbars and such. Joe lands a hard kick right to the face and Homicide looks stunned. Homicide uses his quickness to come back and take Joe off his feet. He dumps Joe to the floor but Joe quickly gets back in the ring and cuts Homicide off. Things start to get heated, as both guys looks pissed off at each other. Homicide hits a Face Wash, and when he goes for another one he runs right into the STJoe. The Champ goes to work but Homicide cuts him off with a nasty t-bone suplex that drops Joe right on his head. Joe goes to the floor and Homicide tries to follow him out but gets hurled into the guardrail. Out on the floor Joe tries the Ole Kick and Homicide blocks it but then runs right into a belly-to-belly suplex. That gives Joe the opening he needs to hit the Ole Kick. Joe follows up with another one and Homicide is in a lot of trouble here, as his head is busted open. Back in the ring Joe covers for two. Joe hits a collection of three suplexes in a row but only gets a two-count. Homicide fights back with a swinging DDT. Joe rolls to the floor and Homicide follows him out. Homicide sets Joe up near a table and hits the Tope Con Hilo to wipe out both Joe and the table! Back in the ring Homicide covers for two. Joe fights back with a hard powerbomb and turns it into the STF. He then turns that into the Choke! Low Ki makes his way out to motivate his friend Homicide. It works, as Homicide just slips out of the Choke and puts on the STF. Joe gets to the ropes to break the hold. Homicide starts hitting clotheslines but Joe cuts him off with hard knee strikes. Joe takes offense to Ki being at ringside, and I can see his case. He then hits Homicide with a brutal knee to the face. The Champ is totally in the driver’s seat at this point. Ki yells at Homicide and even slaps him, which wakes him up. Homicide hits a Back Drop Driver and an Ace Crusher. He goes up top and hits a double stomp for two. Homicide follows with a brainbuster and Joe rolls to the floor. Referees are checking on Joe, who appears to be out on the floor. Homicide will have none of that, as he goes out after the Champ. Back in the ring Homicide covers and gets a two-count. Homicide tries to put Joe away, putting him up on the top rope. Smokes and Ki start to argue, which distracts Homicide long enough for Joe to hit a Super Muscle Buster. That’s enough for Joe to get the pin at 18:16. These two always seem to legit hate each other and that makes their matches against each other fun. This one got a little bit bogged down with Smokes and Ki on the floor but it was still good.
MATCH #4: Homicide vs. Steve Corino, Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies, 8.16.03
They engage in “the most intense collar and elbow tie-up ever” and then start striking at each other. Homicide puts on a leglock but that goes nowhere. They start striking at each other again and Homicide pokes him in the eyes. Homicide then slaps Corino on the ear, permanently damaging his hearing. That’s really unfortunate and I feel bad for Corino on that one. Corino appears to be walking out but Julius Smokes, Slugger, and some other guy force him back towards ringside. Homicide throws Corino around ringside and then back in the ring for more punishment. Corino comes back with a leg lariat and Smokes is at ringside now. They go back to the floor and Corino chokes Homicide on the guardrail. Homicide comes back and rams Corino into the ring post. He then grabs some barbed wire and scrapes it against Corino’s arm. Homicide also uses a fork, and then bites Corino’s bloody arm. That’s so unsanitary. Back in the ring Corino fights back with a lariat. Corino then throws Homicide to the floor and spits on Smokes. He throws Homicide into the barricade, busting him open. Corino uses the barbed wire on Homicide’s head and then throws him back in the ring for a piledriver. That gets two. Homicide rolls out to the timekeeper’s table and Corino hits a piledriver to break it! Back in the ring Corino continues the abuse. Homicide fights back with a tornado DDT and a Shining Wizard for two. Corino rolls to the floor and Homicide tries to hit the Tope Con Hilo but Corino moves and Homicide cracks his back on the guardrail! That was sick. Back in the ring Corino covers for two and then locks on the Cobra Clutch Sleeper! Homicide reaches the ropes. Corino locks the Cobra Clutch Sleeper on again and this time Homicide breaks it with a low blow! Homicide then hits a big Yakuza Kick and goes up top, but Corino knocks him down and hits a superplex. Now Corino goes up top but this time Homicide knocks him down and hits a Super Ace Crusher for two! Homicide hits a vertical suplex for two. Corino fights back with a Death Valley Driver Powerbomb for two. Homicide responds with a sort-of Tombstone for a two-count. He pulls the elbow pad off and hits the big lariat but only gets two! Homicide locks on the STF and Corino’s corner man Guillotine LeGrande throws in the towel at 23:44. Speaking of matches where it feels like they hate each other, these two had a palpable hatred that shone through and makes up for some of the no-selling. Homicide worked the neck throughout the match and then won with a neck submission hold, so that is a positive as well.
MATCH #5: No Rope Barbed Wire Match – Homicide vs. Steve Corino, War of the Wire, 11.29.03
Homicide is accompanied by Julius Smokes, and he’s wearing the old school Natural Born Sinners jumpsuit. Corino has his entourage with him, including Chuck “Guillotine” LeGrande. Both men are cautious in the early going and Homicide backs Corino to the edge of the ring, causing Corino to slip to the floor. That seemed like an accident. Back in the ring they try to force each other into the wire. Homicide takes a powder. Back in the ring they continue to battle each other and try to avoid the barbed wire. Corino hits a low blow and whips Homicide into the wire. He rubs Homicide’s face in it, causing the blood to flow. Corino catapults Homicide into the wire. Homicide finds a steel chair while Corino finds a barbed wire baseball bat. Corino misses with the bat and Homicide cracks him with the chair. Homicide then hits a DDT on the barbed wire bat, which busts him open. Things get even sicker as Homicide busts out the fork. They slide out under the wire and take their fight to the floor. Homicide continues the barbaric assault with the fork and the bat. Corino fights back and monkey flips Homicide into the wire. That’s nasty. They go back to the floor and Corino whips Homicide into the guardrail. Corino suplexes Homicide into the wire and he just hangs there. When Corino grabs a chair Smokes comes over and shoves him, causing a mini-scene on the floor. Corino then punches Homicide squarely in the nuts. Back in the ring Homicide fights back and stupidly hits the face wash, which hurls himself into the wire. Homicide hits a t-bone suplex through a barbed wire table. Corino fights back with the Attitude Adjustment and then locks on the Cobra Sleeper. Homicide powers up and backs Corino into the table. He then hits an Ace Crusher for two. Homicide goes to the floor and finds the steel cage door used last night and throws it into the ring, hitting Corino in the head! Chris Lovey and CM Punk on commentary are aghast that the match would even continue, but Corino recovers in about three seconds so their shock doesn’t really resonate. Corino’s entourage gets in the ring to set up the cage door on top of a few chairs, and Corino hits a Northern Lights Bomb onto it. Homicide recovers right away and hits the Shining Wizard and then locks on the STF. LeGrande goes into a suitcase and pulls out rubbing alcohol and throws it in Homicide’s eyes! Smokes and LeGrande get into a little sissy fight on the floor. Corino hits a lariat for a one-count and then lands two straight piledrivers. LeGrande gives Corino protective gloves and Corino wraps Homicide in barbed wire before applying the Cobra Sleeper! Smokes has no choice but to throw in the towel and Corino gets the win at 20:52. Fans of this kind of match will likely love this one, and I certainly give both guys a lot of credit for the amount of punishment they willingly took. It just does get a little hard to get behind a match when the commentators are saying a man’s career is over and five seconds later he’s up on his feet like nothing’s wrong. I understand that the hatred propelled them to fight hard against each other but this one went a little overboard in that regard. That being said this is a good match for its type and definitely something different for Ring of Honor, so it’s worth taking a look at.
MATCH #6: Homicide vs. Satoshi Kojima, Final Battle 2003, 12.27.03
Both men start cautiously and Homicide strikes first with a chop to the chest. Kojima has a definite size advantage but Homicide knocks him down with a shoulderblock anyway. Homicide knocks Kojima to the floor and teases the Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring Kojima goes to work on the arm. Homicide responds by doing the same. Both men start chopping each other and Kojima wins that battle with a poke to the eyes. Kojima takes Homicide down in the corner and plays with the referee, telling him that he doesn’t understand his count on account of being Japanese and all. Homicide fights back with some boring offense, including a dropkick that sends Kojima to the floor. He follows with the Tope Con Hilo, much to the delight of the crowd and Julius Smokes. Homicide whips Kojima into the guardrail but then steps right into a belly-to-belly suplex. That landed Homicide directly on top of his head and he’s legit knocked loopy. Of course it doesn’t matter as back in the ring Homicide goes to work. Kojima cuts him off and hits an elbow drop off the top rope for two. Homicide responds with a swinging DDT for a two-count. Kojima hits a shitty spinebuster for a near-fall. He goes for the Lariat but Homicide counters to a terrible DDT and then hits the Ace Crusher for two. Kojima responds with his own Ace Crusher for a near-fall. Once again Kojima goes for the Lariat but Homicide blocks it and hits another Ace Crusher and again gets two. Homicide then runs right into the Lariat and that gets a two-count. Kojima then hits another Lariat to get the pin at 13:11. Homicide was definitely not himself after getting dropped on his head on the floor, but I’m not a big Homicide fan anyway so I’m not sure how much of a difference it would have made. The match was not so very good.
MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Samoa Joe, ROH Reborn Stage 1, 4.23.04
Joe has been the Champion since 3.22.03, and this is his sixteenth defense. Homicide is wearing a backwards baseball cap to start the match. He throws it at Joe to try and distract him but it does no good. They start off hot and heavy and Joe puts on an early STF but Homicide reaches the ropes. Homicide takes a powder and throws a chair into the ring out of frustration. He takes issue with the fans and jaws with them a bit before getting back in the ring. Joe takes Homicide down to the mat and starts working him over with strikes and submission holds. CM Punk rejoins the commentary team after getting beaten by Bryan Danielson earlier in the show. Homicide fights back but doesn’t get too far on the ROH World Champion. Joe catches Homicide with the STJoe. Homicide goes to the floor and Joe follows him out with the Elbow Suicida. Joe backdrops Homicide into the crowd and then hiptosses him back to ringside. Back in the ring Joe covers for two. Joe hits a backbreaker and locks on the Samoan Crab. Homicide kicks his way out of it. Joe delivers the Face Wash. Homicide comes back and hits double knees to the back of the head from the second rope, and then a neckbreaker for a two-count. He follows up with a piledriver but Joe is able to hang his leg on the bottom rope to avoid getting pinned. Homicide knocks Joe to the floor and lands the Tope Con Hilo. Joe comes back and hits a modified Ole Ole Kick. He hits another one and throws Homicide back in the ring for more abuse. Homicide comes back with a swinging DDT for two. He tries another one but Joe fights him off and hits a belly-to-belly suplex into the turnbuckles. Joe hits a powerbomb for two and is eventually able to turn it into the STF. Homicide reaches the ropes to break the hold. Joe goes for a Lariat but Homicide ducks and hits an Ace Crusher. Homicide follows with the Lariat but it only gets two. He goes for another one but Joe blocks it and tries the Choke, but Homicide grabs a quick schoolboy rollup for a very, very close near-fall. Homicide thought he heard Turner’s hand slap the mat for a third time and he is furious. He thought he just won the ROH World Title. Homicide decks referee Paul Turner and then the lights go out. He throws a fireball into Joe’s face for the disqualification at about 18:50. That was a hot brawl with a very unique finish for ROH at the time. It lent itself two more matches between the two and definitely kept the feud going.
MATCH #8: Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson, ROH Reborn Stage 2, 4.24.04
They take it right down to the mat, which would seem to be advantage Danielson. Homicide holds his own though, as they continue to jockey for position in the early going. It doesn’t take long for Homicide to get angry and go to the floor to start rearranging the furniture. Things calm down and they resume the mat wrestling. Danielson targets the leg. Homicide comes back and starts using a headlock. He hits the knee to the back of the head from the second rope and continues working the neck. Homicide dumps Danielson to the floor and goes for the Tope Con Hilo, but then tells the crowd to Get Bent, in so many words. He does go to the floor and throws Danielson into the guardrail, and then hits him with a chair. Homicide also uses the ring bell as a weapon. Danielson avoids a punch and Homicide makes contact with the steel barricade. He focuses on the hand now and takes the match back in the ring. Homicide tries to beg off but of course that gets nowhere. Danielson works the hand for a while until Homicide hits an enziguiri and a dropkick to send Danielson to the floor. Homicide hits the Tope Con Hilo and both men are down. Back in the ring Homicide goes for a diving headbutt and misses. Danielson goes back to the hand and hits a roaring forearm for two. He executes the airplane spin and then hits the diving headbutt for a two-count. Danielson goes back up top and Homicide joins him to hit a super hurricanrana. Homicide tries the Lariat but Danielson blocks it, and then both men clothesline each other. Back on their feet Danielson is able to seize the advantage. Homicide fights back with a punch and a Yakuza Boot for two. He goes up top and Danielson joins him up there to hit a big superplex. That hurt Danielson too, so Homicide is able to come back with a piledriver for a two-count. Homicide puts on the STF and Danielson reaches the ropes. Danielson is able to grab Homicide and cinch in Cattle Mutilation! Homicide powers his way out of it and tries the Cop Killa but Danielson avoids it. The referee gets out of position and Homicide hits a low blow and then the Lariat for the pin at 29:46. That match caused a bit of controversy early in my ROH reviewing career, as I was accused of criminally underrating the match. After years of perspective, I can say that it’s probably better than I gave it credit for then, but it’s still way too long and it’s abundantly clear how much more skilled Danielson is than Homicide. I do like that Homicide worked the neck most of the match and then won with a Lariat, a simple story that works.
MATCH #9: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Samoa Joe, Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 1, 7.23.04
Joe has been the Champion since 3.22.03 and this is his twenty-first defense. Homicide is accompanied by Julius Smokes, Low Ki, and Rocky Romero. This is Homicide’s last shot at the title as long as Joe is the champion. Joe gets distracted by the multitude of Rottweilers at ringside, allowing Homicide to take the early advantage. The referee rightly decides to clear the ringside area to make this a fair one-on-one contest. They exchange strikes, and Joe seems rejuvenated by the absence of the other three Rottweilers. Joe takes Homicide down and hits the Big Joe Combo. Homicide fights back but Joe is able to maintain the advantage. They exchange strikes and Homicide takes control. Joe fires back with chops and punches, and then a big kick to the face. They get in each other’s faces and Homicide pokes Joe in the eyes. Homicide goes for an STF but Joe gets to the ropes. Once again Joe tries making a comeback and Homicide goes to the eyes. A good majority of this match is these two just beating the crap out of each other. The battle spills to the floor and Homicide hits Joe with a baseball slide. Back in the ring Joe takes control with a series of strikes and en enziguiri for two. Homicide comes back with a knee to the back of the head off the top rope. He locks Joe in a headscissors and Joe gets to the ropes. Joe comes back with a leg sweep, and then Homicide dumps Joe to the floor. Once again Homicide teases the Tope Con Hilo and doesn’t deliver, and then Joe blasts him with an enziguiri. Joe goes for the Ole Kick but Homicide counters with a drop toehold onto the chair. Homicide charges but Joe catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex. This time Joe hits the Ole Kick and seems pretty pleased about it. Back in the ring Homicide is selling the back and Joe appears woozy. Joe hits the STJoe for a two-count. He hits a snap powerslam for another two. He hits a powerbomb for two and then rolls it into a Pearl River Plunge for another close two-count. Homicide comes back with a Diamond Dust, neckbreaker, and a modified piledriver for two. He hits a couple of lariats, the third one taking Joe down for a two-count. Joe avoids another lariat attempt and hits a Cobra Clutch suplex for two. He then hits the Muscle Buster but Homicide kicks out! Back up Joe hits an Island Driver but Homicide kicks out again! A pissed-off Joe locks Homicide in the Choke and Homicide is out at 24:00.
Joe refuses to let go of the hold despite officials trying to pry him off. The Rottweilers come out to save their leader and beat Joe down. Romero, Ki, and Homicide take turns spitting on the ROH Title belt. The match was intense and awesome, probably the best these two ever had. Having Homicide kick out of Joe’s finishers was cool since it was the last time they’d face each other during Joe’s title reign and it helped make the last few minutes super hot. I’m wondering why they didn’t try harder to do Joe versus Ki one-on-one for the belt; that seems like an obvious money match.
MATCH #10: Homicide vs. CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe, Scramble Cage Melee, 8.28.04
Joe and Punk both hate Homicide but respect each other so they decide to double-team the Notorious 187. That of course doesn’t last long before they start tearing into each other. Joe takes a powder, allowing Homicide and Punk to go at it. Homicide introduces a fork but no one is able to sue it before Joe gets back in the ring and takes control of it. Punk grabs Joe from the floor and throws him into the barricade. Back in the ring Punk hits Homicide with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Joe rejoins the ring and starts throwing everyone around. He throws Homicide to the floor and hits the Elbow Suicida as Mark Nulty tells blatant lies. To be more specific, he says that Homicide pinned Joe at “Reborn Stage One” but that’s not true – Homicide thought he got a three-count but he really didn’t. Anyway, out on the floor Joe uses the ghetto fork to bust Homicide’s head open. Joe goes for an Ole Ole Kick but Punk cuts him off with a shoulderblock. Punk throws Homicide back in the ring and goes to work on him. Homicide comes back with a couple of dragon screw leg whips and then locks on a Figure-Four Leglock. Joe gets back in the ring to break it up and Homicide hits him with a Back Drop Driver. Homicide takes Punk to the floor and hits a piledriver on a table that broke a little too early. Back in the ring Joe hits Homicide with an STJoe and then a powerbomb for two. Joe then turns it into the STF and accentuates it with fork strikes. Homicide fights back with an Ace Crusher. Punk comes back in the ring with a springboard missile dropkick on Homicide and then turns his attention to the Champ. All three men wind up down on the mat trying to get their wind back. Up on their feet Homicide hits Punk with Punk’s own DDT, and then Joe hits Homicide with the Ace Crusher. Punk takes Joe down and hits a series of knees and then locks on the Choke! Homicide breaks that up with a double stomp off the top rope. He takes Punk to the top rope and tries the Pepsi Plunge but can’t connect. Joe pulls Homicide off the ropes and kicks him. Punk goes to the top rope and Joe goes up to fight him but Punk is able to connect with the Pepsi Plunge! Homicide nails Punk with a Lariat and then steals a pin on Joe at 17:49. I’m pretty sure I short changed this one many years ago, as this match was a lot of fun and was non-stop action from three of ROH’s biggest names. The finish works well too since Homicide and Joe were not allowed to have singles matches for the rest of Joe’s title reign, so it put a little juice into their eventual next match.
MATCH #11: Ghetto Street Fight – Homicide vs. Colt Cabana, Fourth Anniversary Show, 2.25.06
The fight starts in the aisle and Cabana is all fired up, throwing Homicide into the barricades and into the crowd. Cabana throws Homicide back over the guardrail and into the ring, and when referee Todd Sinclair gets in the ring he calls for the bell again to officially start the match. Homicide fights back and sends Cabana to the floor, and then throws him into the barricade. They continue to fight on the floor and Homicide pushes Cabana into the ring post. Homicide throws Cabana head-first into the barricade, busting him open. He follows with a chair right to the head and then works on the cut. Back in the ring Homicide continues the abuse, using one of the barricades as well as a razor. Cabana is in trouble but he’s able to come back with a butt-butt. Homicide cuts him off with a tornado DDT. He then locks on a half crab but Cabana won’t give in. Homicide goes up top and misses a diving headbutt. Cabana goes for a Colt .45 and Homicide slips out but Cabana hits a big lariat. He puts on a stranglehold but Homicide won’t give in. Cabana goes up and misses a moonsault. Homicide drills him with a Lariat and then locos on a Camel Clutch. Julius Smokes throws a coat hanger in the ring and Homicide chokes Cabana with it! Cabana won’t give up but the referee calls for the bell out of fear for his safety at 11:15.
But wait! Cabana gets on the microphone and says that Homicide will have to fucking kill him to end this fight. Homicide obliges and the fight is back on! Cabana fights valiantly but Homicide cuts him off with an Ace Crusher. Homicide goes for the Cop Killa but Cabana counters it to an armbreaker. Cabana targets Homicide’s injured shoulder. Smokes interferes to distract Cabana, and Homicide blasts him with a chair. Ricky Reyes is out too, and together the Rottweilers tie Cabana to the top turnbuckle. Homicide throws a chair right in Cabana’s face. He does it again and Sinclair stops the match for a second time at 4:10. Amazingly, Cabana still won’t give up, and challenges Homicide to continue the fight! Cabana fights off both Homicide and Smokes. He takes Homicide to the apron for a piledriver but Smokes dumps rubbing alcohol on him. Homicide then hits a piledriver off the apron through a table and this time the match is over for real at 1:08. That was an awesome fight and it did a lot to bring the feud to a boiling point. It made Cabana look like a guy who wouldn’t give up and made Homicide look like a totally sadistic monster who would stop at nothing to maim his rival. I loved this feud and this match perfectly encapsulated everything good about it and was a brilliant piece of booking.
MATCH #12: Chicago Street Fight – Homicide vs. Colt Cabana, Better Than Our Best, 4.1.06
Cabana starts off on fire, no doubt fired up by being in front of his hometown fans. They take it to the floor and all over the arena, with Cabana in control. In the ring Homicide fires up with a back elbow that sends Cabana right back to the floor. Homicide is in his element on the floor. He produces a coat hanger, which has been a very important weapon in this feud. Cabana is able to get a hold of it and chokes Homicide with it. Homicide uses his momentum to send Cabana to the floor, and then he follows him out with a Tope Con Hilo. They take the fight to the apron but no one is able to execute a maneuver. Cabana grabs a ladder from under the ring and brings it inside. Homicide has recovered and he tries a piledriver but Cabana counters with an Illinois Slam. Cabana then slingshots Homicide into the ladder and then hits a butt-butt for a two-count. Homicide comes back with a sick Tornado DDT onto the ladder for two. They go back to the floor, where Homicide sets Cabana on a table. Homicide goes up top and delivers a splash, breaking the table in the process. He and Smokes go under the ring and produce a barbed wire board. Homicide uses the ladder as a weapon until Cabana reverses a suplex, landing Homicide’s back right on said ladder. Cabana tries to slam Homicide on the barbed wire but Homicide counters with a side Russian Legsweep. They trade some punches and surprisingly Cabana gets the better of it. Cabana grabs the fork out of Homicide’s boot and jabs him with it. Obviously Homicide is bleeding now and Cabana tears into him with the ghetto fork. Homicide is able to pitch Cabana to the floor and get a slight reprieve. He goes under the ring for a bottle of Drain-o. Cabana gets back in the ring before Homicide can do anything with it. He then hits a Tower of London (so now we know where Nigel got the move from. Cabana then gets a bottle of rubbing alcohol and dumps it into Homicide’s open wound. Homicide tries to beg off but Cabana will have none of it. Cabana goes for the Colt .45 but Homicide slips out and hits a blatant low blow. Homicide then encourages the fans to start throwing chairs in the ring, and of course the fans oblige. Cabana takes Homicide up top and delivers a superplex into the pile of chairs! He sets up for another one but Homicide counters with a nasty Pepsi Plunger for a two-count. Homicide hits a Lariat but it only gets two! Smokes gets in the ring and accidentally hits Homicide with a clothesline, and then Cabana drills Homicide with a capture suplex. Cabana undoes his wrist tape and ties Smokes to the top rope. The chairs are mostly cleared out, but both men start setting up tables. Homicide throws a chair at Cabana and puts him on the top rope for a super rana. Cabana counters with a Super Powerbomb through the table onto the barbed wire but it only gets two! He tries a Lariat for another two-count. Finally the Colt .45 is enough to get the pin at 26:33. This was an epic brawl and the perfect way to cap off this feud. The hatred felt real and Cabana literally had to throw everything he had to defeat the Ghetto Thug. This cemented Cabana as a funny guy who could be serious if called upon, and he performed brilliantly.
After the match Smokes and Ricky Reyes try to tie a noose around Cabana’s neck and hang him again, but Homicide stops them. Homicide says that Cabana has earned his respect and offers him a handshake. Normally I hate guys shaking hands immediately after a blood feud, but since this one was based on the fact that Homicide felt disrespected by Cabana and thought he was a joke, this was an okay time to do it.
MATCH #13: Homicide vs. Necro Butcher, Ring of Homicide, 5.13.06
The crowd is hot from the opening bell and they take it right to the floor. Homicide is in control, whipping Necro into the barricades. Necro fights back and hits the chair slam on the floor. He throws Homicide into the crowd and abuses him with chairs. Homicide hits a suplex into some chairs and then throws a series of them at his downed opponent. Back at ringside Homicide starts throwing chairs into the ring and tells the crowd to do the same and they bury poor Necro in chairs. Homicide hits a piledriver onto a pile of chairs but it only gets two. He goes for another one but Necro reverses to the Tiger Driver for a two-count. Necro is busted open. He goes up top and Homicide slams him onto the chairs and then hits a splash for another two-count. Necro comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. The chairs get cleared out of the ring and they fight to the apron, where Homicide suplexes Necro down to the floor and onto the chairs again. Necro appears to have cracked his ankle on the guardrail. Homicide puts Necro on a table and goes to the top rope to put him through it with a splash. Back in the ring Homicide only gets a two-count! Necro tries to fight back but Homicide cuts him off with a low blow. Homicide then hits the Lariat to get the pin at 10:25. Obviously that was no Hackenschmidt versus Gotch classic, but it was a great spectacle and the crowd heat was off the charts.
Ring announce Bobby Cruise announces Homicide as the winner “for Ring of Honor,” but Homicide is quick to point out that he won the match for himself, and that this is the “Ring of Homicide.”
MATCH #14: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson, Destiny, 6.3.06
Danielson has been the Champion since 9.17.05, and this is his twenty-first defense. They start off cautiously, as they know each other very well from their best-of-five series of matches in 2005. Both men go after each other’s arms, which given their respective finishers is smart strategy. Homicide is able to put on the STF and Danielson reaches the ropes. He goes back to the leg and Danielson kicks him in the face, sending Homicide to the floor. Julius Smokes is in Homicide’s corner of course. Back in the ring Homicide keeps Danielson off-balance, causing the Champ to take a powder. Homicide goes to work on the arm both in and out of the ring. Danielson fights back and throws Homicide into the barricades. Homicide reverses a whip and sends Danielson into the barricade now. He then tries a suplex but Danielson reverses it and Homicide lands hard on the timekeeper’s table. Homicide grabs the title belt and hits Danielson in the face with it. He sets up the table on the guardrail and tries to suplex Danielson off the apron onto it but that gets blocked, so he just knocks him down and follows with a somersault off the apron. Homicide charges and Danielson catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex onto the table, which doesn’t break. Back in the ring Danielson goes to work, focusing on Homicide’s injured shoulder. They go back to the floor and Danielson hits Homicide’s shoulder with a chair. Back in the ring Homicide comes back with a swinging DDT. Homicide goes for another one but Danielson blocks it and goes right back to the shoulder. Danielson uses a cross armbreaker and Homicide breaks it and sets Danielson up top, but Danielson knocks him down and hits the missile dropkick. Homicide tries to fight back but misses a charge in the corner and hits nothing but ring post. Danielson is able to keep Homicide down, despite Homicide’s multiple comeback attempts. He puts Homicide up top, but Homicide counters with a super inverted atomic drop. Homicide sends Danielson to the floor and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Back in the ring Homicide hits the Ace Crusher but misses the Frog Splash. Danielson tries the diving headbutt and misses so both men are down. They get back up and trade forearm shots. Homicide wins the battle with a Yakuza Kick, but Danielson comes right back with Cattle Mutilation! Smokes helps Homicide reach the ropes. Danielson covers and gets two. They go to the top and Homicide knocks Danielson down and follows him with a Frog Splash for a two-count. Danielson responds with a dropkick and a bridging Dragon Suplex for two. He goes for the Crossface Chicken Wing but Homicide breaks it with a low blow. Homicide hits a huge Lariat for a near-fall! He goes for the Cop Killa but Danielson counters it. Homicide tries the Ace Crusher but Danielson pushes him into the corner and puts him up top for the Super Belly-to-Back Suplex. Danielson then hits the elbow strikes to the shoulder and referee Todd Sinclair stops the match at 25:42. This was a red-hot title match with great psychology from Danielson and better than average work from Homicide. The finish certainly helped play into the story they were running at the time and set the stage nicely for the eventual rematch.
The Cage of Death, Death Before Dishonor IV, 7.15.06
This isn’t the whole match, it just picks up from where Homicide makes his entrance. My full review of the match (such as it is) can be read at my RetROH Reviews Blog.To sum up – Bryan Danielson was supposed to join Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce, and Ace Steel on Team ROH, but he turned on everyone and injured Joe’s knee, putting ROH at a five-on-three disadvantage. Homicide makes his way out as the new fifth entrant for Team ROH, gives everyone forks, ROH cleans house and wins the match. It’s a great, four-and-a-half star match and the apex of one of the best storylines in ROH history. It’s also a worthy inclusion on this disc because of how central to the angle Homicide was. They also show the aftermath, where Jim Cornette thanks everyone but then turns on Homicide because Homicide asked for Low Ki to be brought back, setting up six months of awful long-winded promos that soured me on Cornette to this day. The real question is why didn’t the real ROH guys (not the job squad) come out and try to save Homicide from the intimidating trio of Adam Pearce, Jim Cornette, and JJ Dillon?
MATCH #15: Falls Count Anywhere Elimination Street Fight – Homicide & Samoa Joe vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe, Dethroned, 11.25.06
This one starts off as a wild brawl, and Joe and Homicide immediately hit stereo dives to the floor to wipe out Dem Boys. Back in the ring the Briscoes are able to dump Homicide right back out and then they double-team Joe. The Briscoes send Joe to the floor and then return the favor with a simultaneous dive. Control shifts back to the Joe/Homicide team, as the wild brawling continues and momentum ebbs and flows between the teams. Joe and Mark battle into the crowd, where Joe uses a Giant Swing of all things. Elsewhere Homicide is throwing Jay through the crowd. Joe finds some hockey gear and puts on a helmet before hitting Mark with a stick. He turns his attention to Jay, allowing Mark to climb to the top of the entrance truss and hit a shooting star press! That was insane. Homicide throws Jay into a pile of chairs, but ay reverses a suplex and now Homicide lands on the chairs. Jay and Homicide fight back into the ring. Homicide hits Jay with a super Ace Crusher He tries the Three Amigos but Jay counters the last suplex into a Falcon Arrow for two. All four men are back in the ring now and Joe nails Mark with a lariat and then Jay with a powerbomb for two. Homicide tries the Lariat on Mark but he gets caught and suplexed on his head. Julius Smokes lights a cigar and hands it to Homicide, who uses it to burn Mark! Homicide then hits Mark with the Cop Killa and Joe hits Jay with the Muscle Buster, and they get simultaneous pinfalls to eliminate both Briscoes at 12:43. That was a lot of fun but didn’t tell much of a story at all. Not that every match needs to – this one worked for what they were going for.
MATCH #16: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson, Final Battle 2006, 12.23.06
Danielson has been the Champion since 9.17.05, and this is his thirty-ninth defense. Homicide has promised to leave Ring of Honor if he does not win the World Title tonight. They start off cautiously, taking it to the mat and trading holds. Danielson goes after the shoulder. He uses the surfboard, and then stomps Homicide’s knees into the canvas. Homicide fights back with strikes to take the advantage briefly but Danielson cuts him right off. They take it to the floor and that’s Homicide’s element. Homicide throws Danielson into the barricade and then back in the ring for a chinlock. Danielson breaks it with a chinbreaker. Homicide responds with the Three Amigos and then goes for the Frog Splash but Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn come out and throw him down for the DQ at 10:50. The crowd is furious. Julius Smokes comes out to make the save, as does another random dude. Referee Todd Sinclair decides that there is no way the match can end like that and we’re underway again!
Homicide is rejuvenated and he takes it right to the World Champion. He hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for two. Danielson cuts him off and goes right back to the shoulder. He this a roaring elbow for a near-fall. Danielson goes up for a diving headbutt but Homicide catches him with an Ace Crusher! Homicide fires up and suplexes Danielson to the floor and follows him out with the Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring now Homicide targets Danielson’s also injured shoulder. Danielson fights back with a European Uppercut off the second rope. He goes up top and hits the diving headbutt for two. Danielson follows with a bridging German Suplex for two and Homicide kicks out and then turns it into an armbar! The Champ gets to the ropes and then they start trading strikes with each other. Homicide spears Danielson through the ropes and then goes for a baseball slide, but Danielson catches him and dumps him over the guardrail. Danielson follows with the springboard dive, appearing to take a pretty nasty fall. Back in the ring Danielson hits a missile dropkick. Danielson tries the belly-to-back superplex but Homicide turns the momentum in mid-air and gets a two-count, and Danielson rolls that over for his own near-fall. Back on their feet Danielson tries a lariat but Homicide catches him with an exploder. Homicide goes up top but this time Danielson hits the belly-to-back superplex and Homicide kicks out at two. Danielson hits the series of elbows and then turns it into the Crossface Chicken Wing with a body scissors. Homicide is able to reach the ropes but Danielson refuses to let go. Sinclair won’t disqualify the champ so Homicide has to power out of the move. Homicide hits a butterfly suplex and a dragon screw leg whip. He then locks on the STF and Danielson has to rake the face to break it. Danielson comes back with Cattle Mutilation and turns it into a Tiger Suplex for two, and then turns it right back into Cattle Mutilation. Homicide won’t quit and is able to get a Bret Hart rollup for two. Back on their feet Homicide ducks a roaring forearm and hits the Cop Killa! Danielson reaches the ropes to break. Homicide goes for the ring bell but Sinclair is able to stop him. Danielson delivers a low blow and gets a small package but it only gets two. Homicide then lands a huge lariat to get the pin and win the title at 18:34! That was a bit on the long side but the emotion and the crowd heat helped sustain it, and the pop for the win was enormous. I’m not a big Homicide fan but he’s definitely an important figure in ROH and they built up to this moment very well and it felt big.
As a nice bonus, they show the tribute video to Homicide, a five-minute look at his ROH career up to winning the ROH World Title. It’s well done.
DVD Bonus: Homicide’s farewell from Respect Is Earned (first time ever on DVD
This is a nice bonus feature, as Homicide was pulled from ROH events by TNA when ROH was set to make their PPV debut. Homicide has some fun saying goodbye to the crowd, and they show their appreciation for him.
The Pulse: This is much better than I thought it would be, as 14 of the 16 matches ranked three stars or higher, which is a great percentage for any best-of compilation. Most of the big matches and feuds are represented well here, including battles with Samoa Joe, Steve Corino, Bryan Danielson, and CZW. Homicide was a huge part of the first half of ROH’s history and this is a great look at why he was so important. You can purchase the DVD at the ROH Shop.