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ROH debuts on Long Island
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling


What do you get when you take the top independent stars in the wrestling world today, mixed with all styles of wrestling, capped off by over 800 screaming fans? Ring of Honor's debut on Long Island, NY. CM Punk, James Gibson (Jamie Knoble), Samoa Joe and others helped put forth one of the greatest shows Long Island has ever seen.

The Sports Plus Entertainment Center in Lake Grove was nice, clean and everything was set up very well. Strobe lighting and other effects really added to the experience, and showed a different type of atmosphere that most other Indy promotions don't have. The fans were hot from the opening bell all the way to the end, which again only helped things.

Here's a rundown of the show:

ROH Champion CM Punk came out to open things up. He got on the mic and talked about going to WWE. He said he didn't sign the contract yet, but he would do it in the ROH ring. He asked the ring announcer, then the referee to hold the ROH Belt for him to sign the contract on, but neither one of them would disgrace ROH in such a way. Punk then called one of his students out to hold the belt. "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels and James Gibson made their way to the ring, with Gibson Tiger Bombing Punk's student. Punk bailed and headed to the back.

Match One - Special Tag Team Attraction Match - The Heartbreak Express vs Jay Lethal and Dixie
Lethal and Dixie used their speed to get the upper hand on their colorful opponents, but the double teaming chikanery of The Heartbreak Express dominated. The most important thing about The Heartbreak Express is that they look like a tag team. Matching outfits, the whole nine yards. Lethal was able to finish off them off, picking up a big victory in what was a fairly solid opening bout.
Winners Via Pinfall - Jay Lethal and Dixie

It was announced here that on the October 1st ROH show, Kenta Kobashi will be appearing. Check www.rohwrestling.com for more information on that.

Match Two - Azreal vs Roderick Strong
Strong hit an amazing Tope Con Hilo to the floor on Azreal that brought the fans to their feet. Another interesting point in the match saw Azreal do a springboard flip into Strong who proceeded to catch him and powerbomb him on his head. Strong locked in a modified version of the Lion Tamer and forced the submission from Azreal. After the match Alex Shelley hit the ring and caught Strong with The Wave of The Future.
Winner Via Submission - Roderick Strong

At this point in the show, ROH welcomed their special guest, New York's own Matt Striker. Striker for those who don't know was involved in a dispute with the school he was teaching for, that ultimately led to his dissmisal. The whole situation was a bunch of garbage, and Striker made sure he told the fans just that, telling them to send their letters to the New York State School Department. He talked about having a passion and love for wrestling just like everyone else in the lockeroom, and ended by telling the kids in the crowd to "Stay in school."

Match Three - ROH Tag Team Championship Match - Lacey's Angels (Cheech and Deranged) w/ Lacey and Izzy (Challengers) vs BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs (Champions)
Lacey's Angels double teamed Jimmy Jacobs for a long time during this match. Whitmer came in and almost decapitated Deranged. With Deranged on Whitmer's shoulders, Jacobs hit a diamond cutter off the ropes. Lacey tried to get involved, but to no avail as Jacobs hit a huricanrana off the top rope on Deranged who was on Whitmer's shoulders.
Winners Via Pinfall and STILL ROH Tag Team Champions - BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs

Prince Nana and company made their way to the ring. Nana verbally attacked Matt Striker who was sitting around ringside. Striker got in the ring and the two shot on one another while Mike "The Shooter" Kruel stood by and watched. The Outcast Killaz and Jimmy Rave came out along with Jade and Nana yelled at her for trying to get in the ring. The Outcast Killaz were fed up with Nana's disrespect and left.

Match Four - Jimmy Rave w/ Prince Nana, Mike "The Shooter" Kruel and Jade vs "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles
The match started on the floor, with Styles just pounding on Rave, sending him into the guardrails. The match spilled into the ring with Styles in firm control, but the next time it spilled to the floor, Rave was able to capitalize. Styles attempted his springboard moonsault into a reverse DDT, but Rave held the ropes and Styles went to the mat. The match continued at a rapid pace, with Styles picking up the pinfall on a quick roll up. After the match, Styles attempted the Styles Clash on Nana, but was sufficated with a plastic bag over his head applied by Rave.
Winner Via Pinfall - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles

Match Five - Nigel McGuiness vs Vordell Walker
Two big men who went at one another with everything they had. This was an extremely hard hitting match. McGuiness hit Walker with a clothesline that sent him into a backflip. Good stong match up here, with McGuiness picking up the victory.
Winner Via Pinfall - Nigel McGuiness

Match Six - Four Corners Survival Match - James Gibson vs Homicide w/ Julius Smokes vs Samoa Joe vs Austin Aires
With all due respect to everyone that wrestled, this one was probably the match of the night. The crowd was on their feet the entire time. All four men took to their, with Homicide landing in the crowd. Just mayhem every which way you turned. Big time action that saw Austin Aires hit the 450 Splash on Samoa Joe for the win.
Winner Via Pinfall - Austin Aires

Match Seven - "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger vs "Classic" Colt Cabana
The fans went absolutely nuts for Daniels. Cabana started off the match trying to shake Daniels hand on numerous occasions, but Daniels would have none of that. CM Punk came down to yell at Cabana, pulling for him to defeat "The Fallen Angel". However, in the end it would be Daniels with his hand raised high.
Winner Via Pinfall - "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels

CM Punk grabbed a mic and when challenged by Daniels, told him that he didn't beat anybody worth a damn and that he would have to defeat the entire ROH roster before he would get a title shot from Punk. Punk told the referees to come down and get Daniels out of there, which they did. Punk then said that all the internet marks were looking for tips as to who his opponent was going to be, he then announced it would be Low Ki. Music played, but nobody came out. He then said since Low Ki didn't want the shot, he would give it to "The American Dragon" Bryan Danielson. Again, music played, but nobody came out. He then said if one person didn't want a shot, maybe two did, he then called out The Briscoe Brothers. Again, music played and nobody showed up. Punk said that since nobody wanted a shot, he was going to leave for WWE with the belt. Mick Foley then came out and talked about all of his friends who came to see him. He said that Punk looked "F'N ridiculous" and what he said was "F'N ridiculous". Foley said that Bryan Danielson was in Europe, Low Ki was in Japan and the Briscoe Brothers haven't wrestled in ROH for a year. He told Punk to do the right thing and that he couldn't keep the title forever ... unless he married the boss' daughter. Punk then said that since Gabe Sapolsky didn't have a daughter he could marry, so he would be in action, and it would be for the ROH Heavyweight Championship, and it would be against...Jay Lethal!

Match Eight - ROH Heavyweight Championship Match - Jay Lethal (Challenger) vs CM Punk (Champion)
Another hard hitting, yet very technical style match. Samoa Joe came out to cheer on Lethal midway through the match. Lethal attempted to hit his finisher several times, but each time Punk countered out. The crowd thought Lethal had it when he was able to take Punk down and on his second attempt, hit the diving headbutt, but Punk inched his way out of the three count by a millisecond. When Lethal went up top again, Punk caught him and hit The Muscle Buster. He then looked at Joe and made Lethal tap to the Kikeda Clutch.
Winner Via Submission and STILL ROH Heavyweight Champion - CM Punk

Samoa Joe hit the ring and Punk bailed. Mick Foley came back out and said that he was on the phone with Vince McMahon, and he said that McMahon said if Punk couldn't do the right thing for ROH, then why would he do the right thing for WWE? So Foley told Punk that if he didn't want to do the right thing, he would spend a lifetime in OVW, hoping to get to one day be Mr. Sunday Night Heat. James Gibson came out and stood in the ring with Joe and Foley as Punk bailed into the crowd, while Foley said that he would be waiting for Punk in Manhattan.

Overall thoughts on the event:

Another solid event and another area conquered by ROH. ROH will be returning to Long Island and the Sports Plus Entertainment Complex again on September 17th, more information on that will be available through www.rohwrestling.com. After this show, they should expect yet another 800+ crowd next time around.

ROH is a unique blend of everything that is good in wrestling, and will continue to dominate the Indy scene. They have the talent, they have the production quality and they have the rabid fan base. After this show, Long Island now knows exactly why Ring of Honor is the number one Independent Promotion in the world today.


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  • Lots of Ring of Honor DVDs to choose from!

    Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and enjoyed his first Ring of Honor show immensely.