Welcome to the very first edition of History of Honor Blog, join me as I go back in time via Honor Club to witness some of the very best professional wrestling that has ever been produced in the United States. Honor Club is only $9.99 and you can sign up here.
We begin with a promo from the late Jay Briscoe and Amazing Red. We are joined on commentary by Eric Gargiulo and Steve Corino. We’re live from the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA. Mike Kehner is the referee. The crowd is so hot. Very back and forth high paced match. You can tell early on that Jay Briscoe and Amazing Red are going to be stars in the business for years to come. For 2002, this match is way ahead of its time. Lots of “holy shit” chants. Mark Briscoe is ringside cheering his brother on. Jay hit a very early sick Jay Driller and as God as my witness I thought he killed Red. Red was able to manage a foot on the rope. After missing a Cannonball Senton, Red is able to capitalize a Red Alert from the top and then hits a Red Star Press, Red is able to pick up the win at the 8:31 mark in a very good match. The future is now.
We’re now seeing a backstage segment with Xavier and Towel Boy and Xavier tells him “You’re young and give it some time and you’ll get your chance in there, keep your head up.” We’re then joined by Scott Andrews who says “2002 will be my year.” We’re now joining a match between the “All Around Best” Xavier and Scott Andrews. The philly crowd is giving Xavier a hard time by chanting “AC Slater” because of the resemblance lol. ECW legend John Finnegan is your referee. Eric Gargiulo tells us that Scott goes by the monicker the “Black Nature Boy.” Eric Gargiulo schools us on the athletic background of Xavier who has 13 years’ experience in Football. It’s sad that these two performers never made it further in the business then they did because in 2002 they had star potential written all over them, straight up. Steve Corino tells us that Scott is a “thinking man’s wrestler, he thinks of what he wants to do ten minutes before he does it.” The chemistry between Eric and Steve is amazing. Scott drops Xavier right on his head with a very sick “Force of Nature.” Xavier manages to get a foot on the rope to save himself the loss. Xavier picks up the win with a modified neck breaker at 10:02.
Next match is up, we have the Natural Born Sinners (Homicide & Boogalou) vs. the Boogie Knights (Danny Drake & Mike Tobin.) Steve Corino tells us there is one word to describe the Natural Born Sinners “dangerous.” He tells us that promoters don’t want to book them because they don’t know if they’re going to be mental enough to just show up and beat up their opponents. Steve also tells us the Boogie Knights are a great up and coming tag team but they are perplexed with the Natural Born Sinners. Referee is HC Loc who would go on to form the “Carnage Crew” tag team with Tony Devito, very underrated tag team for its time, YouTube them, great promos lol. Homicide hits a very nice Swanton tope that takes out some of the guardrails. You can also tell very early on that Homicide’s ceiling was very high. After hitting a double stomp, Eric tells us that “there’s a vasectomy in there” lol. Very nice springboard Swanton by Mike Tobin. Eric tells us that Homicide was trained by Manny Fernandez and Steve follows up “You know when you’re trained by Manny Fernandez you’re special.” After Homicide uses a rubber chicken, HC Loc calls for the bell at 7:43. Stephen DeAngelis tells us that the match has been ended by DQ. After the match Homicide gets his heat back by carving up HC Abdullah the Butcher style lol. I love it. Homicide ends up nailing the “Cop Killa” on Loc and the Sinners celebrate.
Next time we see Eric the Towel Boy cleaning the tops, my words can’t do this justice lol. Now we see former ECW World Champion Mikey Whipwreck in the ring. He tells us that all the wrestlers in the ring our his students “with the exception of Lil Bow Wow” lol funny line, he was referring to Brian XL. Apparently Mikey is referring a match between The S.A.T. & Amazing Red vs. Divine Storm & Brian XL. If there was ever a tag team that should have gotten more out of this business hands down it’s the S.A.T., very underrated tag team. Eric tells us that this is “Ariel Elimination.” Very high paced lucha style match. Steve tells Eric “Do you know what my defense would be in this match? Not showing up” lol. Quiet Storm hits a very nice suicide tope. All these guys are good. Red is the first to be eliminated. Chris Divine eliminates Brian XL. Very fast paced action. We’re down to The S.A.T. and Divine Storm. The S.A.T. hit the Spanish Fly on Chris Divine, Quiet Storm the hits a German suplex on Jose Maximo and both get simultaneous pins. We’re down to Joel Maximo and Quiet Storm. Joel hits a sick Blue Thunder driver and Storm is able to kick out. Quiet Storm manages to hit the Storm Cradle Driver and pick up the pinfall at 14:55.
Next up we see Towel Boy and Prince Nana in the ring, before the match, Towel Boy wipes the ropes again lol. Nana takes him out with a vicious clothesline. This is basically a squash and doesn’t last long 0:50 to be exact.
Next up is a matchup of former students from the Texas Wrestling Academy Ikaika Loa & Spanky (Brian Kendrick) vs. Michael Shane (Shawn Michael’s cousin) & Oz. Steve Corino says of Spanky “has all the tools to be a major superstar” – which he did as he is a former WWE Champion even if it was just for a split second in a scramble. Steve says “I don’t think Rudy Boy likes me very much” and Eric follows up “I don’t think anyone likes you very much,” Rudy Boy Gonzalez was the trainer at Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy. The winner of the match will walk away with a contract from Ring of Honor. Very cool concept. Watching this you can see the spirit of Extreme Championship Wrestling alive and well in Ring of Honor, like ECW there were so many stars that have gone on to mainstream success, you had to be there at the time. Unfortunately I wasn’t lol. Steve says these athletes wanna show that they’re “the next showstopper, the next icon, if you will.” Michael Shane nails a HBK style elbow drop from the top on Spanky and Corino speculates “he may have hurt his tricept.” Match ends with Spanky hitting the slice bread #2 at the 12:31 mark.
Now we’re taken to footage from the back where Mikey is screaming at his students and brings in Super Crazy to help him, classical ECW comedy. We then switch to footage of HC Loc bloodied and making a phone call talking about what happened earlier in the night between himself and the Natural Born Killers, he tells the person “I came to Ring of Honor and they got me doing the Extreme Official bullshit, I’m done.” He finishes by saying “It’s time for them to see the real me, it’s time for them to see the real us.” Then proceeds to take off his referee shirt and throw it down…. Interesting.
Now we’re taken to footage from the back where Mikey is screaming at his students and brings in Super Crazy to help intepret, classical ECW comedy. We then switch to footage of HC Loc bloodied and making a phone call talking about what happened earlier in the night between himself and the Natural Born Killers, he tells the person “I came to Ring of Honor and they got me doing the Extreme Official bullshit, I’m done.” He finishes by saying “It’s time for them to see the real me, it’s time for them to see the real us.” Then proceeds to take off his referee shirt and throw it down…. Interesting.
Next up is the vacant IWA Intercontinental Championship bout, Stephen DeAngelis introduces Super Crazy vs. the legend himself, the late Eddie Guerrero. Corino notes that this is the first ever meeting between Super Crazy and Eddie Guerrero and Eric corrects him by letting him know first ever meeting stateside. Eric says that Super Crazy “wants to get out of the shadow of those other matches a couple of years ago with Tajiri.” As Corino noted, Crazy is known all over the world Japan, Mexico and Puerto Rico. This match was a dream match that was aired on IWA Puerto Rico television. Corino talks about the personal demons that Eddie had fought through to get to this point in his career. Very back and forth competitive match. Super Crazy picks up the win here with a small package at 10:42.
We now see backstage footage of Super Crazy being congratulated by everyone but the “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. Low Ki is now shown discussing the upcoming three-way dance between “American Dragon,” Christopher Daniels and himself. Eric asks Steve “wonder what is going through the minds of after everything we’ve seen tonight, felt tonight, what we’ve heard tonight” and Steve says “they have to be just a little bit better.” He’s right. This match from the first touch is special. You can feel it. It has that big fight feel. Reminisce of the famous ECW three-way dance between Terry Funk, Sabu and “The Franchise Shane Douglas.” Steve goes on to say that he knows Chris Daniels very well as he’s his best friend and “pound for pound the best wrestling in the world.” Steve goes on to talk about Low Ki and pays him a great compliment by saying he’s “the most intense pro wrestler he has ever seen in his entire life.” This match was the first time these three wrestlers ever faced off in a three-way dance. Very special moment in the history of professional wrestling. Hats off to those behind the scenes as they knew exactly what they were doing with this match and event. If you haven’t already done so, you definitely need to go out of your way to check out Honor Club, for $9.99/month it’s a can’t miss. Sign up here.