Burgan reviews the ROH Final Battle 2003 DVD




 
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DVD Review
ROH Final Battle 2003
December 27, 2003
Philadelphia, PA


After watching the Ring of Honor show Joe vs. Kobashi and the Best of Japan volume one DVD, I found that my appreciation for Japanese wrestlers has gone up by at least a factor of 32. Because of this, I decided to check out an older ROH release, Final Battle 2003. Wrestlers from All Japan had traveled to America to take a sort of "working vacation," but once in front of the vociferous ROH fans, they put their working boots on.

***Gary Michael Capetta started off the show asking someone off screen who the guest will be for intermission. When told the guests would be the Briscoe Brothers, Capetta went into this story about how their manager Jim Cornette was upset with him because of stuff Capetta wrote in his book BodySlams. Well, now we know that Cornette read Capetta's book. Who were the other six people? All of a sudden Loc and DeVito of the Carnage Crew burst in and were DEMANDING to know where Special K was. DeVito yelled, “Where the F--- are those little bastards?!” Capetta - in one of those things that only Capetta would say - replied, “You guys are usually angry but I’ve never seen you like this.” For God’s sake Jack Kirby comics back in the '70s like Prez and Devil Dinosaur had more realistic dialogue. DeVito said the battle between the Crew and the K kids has just become, “personal.”

***Welcome to a new feature called Samoa Joe’s Ring. “Why is it my ring?” asked Joe, “Because this is the Ring of Honor ring and it belongs to me. I’m the champ.” One of the things I like most about Joe is that he seems to really want to get the ROH Title over as much as - if not more than – himself. I think Joe would rather you spit in his face than on his belt and I can't tell you how much I love that. Oman Tortuga from the Outcast Killaz jumped into the ring and was excited to be Joe’s first guest. Tortuga thought it was going to be a Q&A type deal but Joe let him know this feature was to explain wrestling holds. Oman said, “Wait. You want to do things to me?” Funny stuff. Joe then stretched out Oman for a couple seconds, but Tortuga bailed out of the ring like his ass was on fire before Joe could move on to other holds.

(1)The American Dragon beat Jay Briscoe. Jesus, when your opening match is Dragon versus Jay Briscoe, I think it’s safe to say you have a deep card. The announcers for this show were Chris Lovey (the alter ego of ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky) and C.M. Punk, one of ROH's best play-by-play tandems. I believe it was Main Event Spectacles where the font used on the screen to display the wrestler’s names was completely unreadable to the human eye. Well, that same font is back, except instead of being outlined in red it is outlined in blue and now is even inconceivably more unreadable than before. American Dragon did an extremely long airplane spin on Briscoe and Punk said, “I hope he sends Al Perez a 25 cent royalty. You know, the Ali-Copter.” Now that’s obscure, but I can’t tell you the amount of days I would come home and watch World Class wrestling on ESPN and see guys like Al Perez, Gino Hernandez, Chris Adams and the Von Erichs. Anyhoo, back in the match the two wrestlers were having a stiff as hell mat classic. For some reason I began to imagine a match between Dragon and Chris Benoit. I think that match would be so stiff it would look more realistic than a MMA shoot fight from PRIDE. The airplane spin actually led to a Benoit-like flying headbutt from Dragon, but Briscoe kicked out at two. Jay went for a Jay Driller but Dragon slipped out and nailed Briscoe with a Dragon Suplex. Jay kicked out but soon fell victim to the Cattle Mutilation and tapped. (13:35) Tremendous match that makes me miss the Briscoe Brothers as they regularly brought the awesome.

Oh did you see that? (13:35) That is the time of the match in minutes and seconds. Yes, for three years I fought tooth and nail against this, in fact vowing to never keep track of match times. One, because they have never interested me as a fan and more importantly because they are a pain in the ASS to keep track of. I have gotten hundreds of emails from disgruntled fans over the course of my recapping DVDs, all telling me to add match times. I have done a masterful job in no-selling each and every one of them but finally the boss gave an ultimatum. Either I start doing match times or I'll be switched over to recapping Byte This. I thought about the situation for a while and considered other alternatives, such as slicing my wrists, while debating the pros and cons of each. Eventually I decided to cave in, only because my friend Keith Lipinski (of the Dr. Keith Show) also inexplicably believes match times are an important part of any review. So even though I am doing it for you, Dear Reader, I will totally understand if you break out into a giant chant:

”You sold out! You sold out! You sold out!”

***Backstage, Trent Acid was waiting for Jay Briscoe to come through the curtain and immediately told Jay, “Great job losing to American Dragon.” Acid said he thought it was time for a return match between the Backseat Boyz and the Briscoe Brothers. Jay said, “We do what Jim Cornette tells us to do” and walked off.

(2) John Walters beat Xavier in a Fight Without Honor. Walters actually jumped Xavier as Xavier made his way to the ring, which really surprised me as I would have thought it would be the other way around. The storyline was that Walters is fed up with Xavier’s bullshit and since Walters was on the receiving end of a post-match chairshot at War of the Wire, I can see why he would be pissed. This match quickly became crazy as Walters brought a chair into the ring but Xavier got control of the chair and laid it across Walters’ head before dropping some knee shots into it. I liked this spot because Xavier really sold the impact of the move on his knee as well. At this point Prince Nana came out to ringside. Maybe Nana can finally tell us what happened to Lollipop or the Towel Boy Eric Tuttle, two personalities who apparently disappeared to ROH's Island of Misfit Gimmicks. A ladder was then brought into the ring and all hell broke loose. Xavier laid Walters on the ladder and then climbed to the top rope to deliver a slingshot Arabian press. OUCH! Later Walters stumbled outside the ring and a baseball slide from Xavier sent John flying onto a table. Get This, Xavier then hit a springboard 450 splash onto Walters, destroying the table.

This just in: Xavier is F---ing insane.

It was a total bloodbath at this point and Xavier grabbed a larger ladder from under the ring. Nana helped Xavier put the ladder inside the ring. Either Xavier was truly f---ed up, or is one helluva great seller, as he totally put over he couldn’t get this ladder into the ring due to all the abuse he had taken in the match. Xavier started to climb the ladder but was caught by Walters, who hit a devastating double knees to Xavier's back. OUCH~! Nana pulled out the referee during the pin attempt and the crowd went nuts. Walters had Xavier on the top rope set up for a superplex, but instead Xavier fought back and hit a top rope Kiss Your X Goodbye. Xavier was too out of it to make a pin. Xavier set up the smaller ladder horizontally on the second turnbuckle and the larger ladder right next to it and both men climbed to the top. In a true HOLY SHIT moment, Walters hit a sunset powerbomb, one in which Xavier’s neck looked like it literally snapped in half. Not Gorilla Monsoon “the fans are literally hanging from the rafters” but “I can’t believe Xavier is still alive.” Walters made the pin and this was without a doubt both the best John Walters match I have ever seen AND the best Xavier match as well. In fact, I’m finally warming up to John Walters character. (18:25)

***After the match John Walters grabbed the mic and said he had been chasing Xavier’s respect for four months. Walters said, “Do the right thing and shake my hand!” Prince Nana grabbed the mic and said tonight was a new beginning as The Embassy was being formed and Xavier was the first member being recruited for the faction. Nana told Xavier to shake Walters’ hand and Xavier told Walters, “You’re on tough son of a bitch. Shaking your hand means I’m out of The Prophecy, but it also means you did earn my respect.” The two shook hands to end a fantastic angle. Every bit as good as the Michael Shane – Paul London stuff from 2002 ROH DVDs.

(3) Matt Stryker beat B.J. Whitmer to win the Field of Honor. The Field of Honor was the precursor to the Pure Title. It was an eight man tournament (I think) with the rough draft of what would go on to become the rules used in "pure" matches. Throughout the match Chris Lovey put over that Whitmer was struggling with a fever of over 100 degrees and that Stryker had separated his shoulder the night before. I’m not sure if those two things were legit or if Lovey was trying to justify why this match just didn’t “have it.” Punk had the line of the match by saying, “Look at Matt Stryker. He looks like he’s been sleeping under somebody’s car.” In fact throughout the match Punk kept referring to how ugly both guys were. Hard to disagree. Lovey brought up a former match by reminding Punk of, “That German you hit on Whitmer at Epic Encounter that knocked both of you out.” And Punk hilariously replied, “I have never hit a German. I’ve never even been to Germany!” In a sequence I did enjoy, Stryker ripped off Whitmer’s knee brace, something always wondered why wrestlers didn’t do that more often. A brace is showing a weakness, so why not take advantage of it? The match was filled with a ton of submission-like maneuvers and seemingly 1000 rope breaks. Stryker continually worked over Whitmer’s knee, including a figure four in which Whitmer was inside the ring while Stryker was outside and the ring post was in-between them. You don’t see that too much anymore. Eventually Stryker hit the Stryker Lock and Whitmer held out as long as he could before tapping. (18:10 - but seemed to last about two hours) Surprisingly, after the match there was nothing. No speech. No presentation. WTF?! Not that I especially wanted to see it, but this tourney has been going on for a while and there was finally a winner, c’mon, throw the guy a bone or at least a trophy. ROH's version of the Brawl for All.

(4) Samoa Joe beat Mark Brisoe (w/Jay Briscoe) to retain the ROH Title. Joe started off like a wild man from the start of the match and immediately threw Mark outside to set up the OLE OLE OLE kick. Mark jumped back in the ring before he could be hit by that kick though. Inside Joe continued his assault and the announcers brought up that Mark’s parents were at the show with Punk saying Joe was going to murder their son before their eyes. Mark got the advantage for a moment and started to throw Joe into the corners, following behind Joe with a lariat. On Mark's third attempt, Joe caught him with a STIFF palm strike, one that ended up sending Mark outside the ring, where Mark was then set up for another OLE OLE OLE kick. This time Jay pulled Mark out of harm’s way and the crowd was chanting, “F--- him up Joe! F--- HIM UP!!”

Joe began to start making lazy covers on Mark until the younger Briscoe tried to headbutt Joe. “Never headbutt a Samoan” said Punk, proving to be right as the move almost knocked Mark out. Joe continued his brutal assault, sending Mark out of the ring and finally destroying him with an OLE OLE OLE kick. This was achieved after taking Jay out of the equation by doing a suicide tope dive onto him. Joe, in a Joe Horn parody, pulled out a hidden cell phone under the ring and made a call. Lovey said that would be a, “$30,000 fine in the NFL!” Mark valiantly struggled back into the ring, but ended up falling victim to The Choke and the ref dropped Mark's hand three times giving the match to Joe. (14:45) Another fantastic action-packed match.

***After the match Joe stood on Mark’s chest and condescendingly shook his hand in front of Jay Briscoe. I'm lovin' this feud.

***Punk had left the booth and made his way to the ring. Punk had a mic and said he was going to ruin this show until he got some answers. Samoa Joe grabbed the mic and said, “Punk, unless you came down to fight, shut the F--- up.” Big crowd pop for that. Joe said Punk was disrespecting his belt and to “Get. Out. Of. My. Ring.” Oh man, this was great. Punk actually said, “Why don’t you leave my ring?!” Joe and Punk then stood face to face. Joe stepped to the middle of the ring, laid down his belt, and motioned for Punk to, "come get some.” Punk went to leave the ring. The crowd was chanting “C.M. Pussy!’

Joe left the ring and immediately Punk jumped back in. That is an all time classic weasel move. I love it. Punk called out the Prophecy and as Joe was walking to the back he ran into Christopher Daniels, Dan Maff and Allison Danger. It was not long before all hell broke loose and Joe fought Maff to the back as Daniels and Punk went at it in the ring. Daniels got the upperhand and was about to hit the Angel Wings when he was blindsided by Colt Cabana! Cabana then held Daniels as Punk went NUTS and began choking out Allison Danger with a towel.

Punk told Daniels that this was, “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.” Daniels finally admitted it was the Prophecy that attacked Lucy and at this point B.J. Whitmer had come out and leveled Cabana with a chair. Daniels introduced Whitmer as the newest member of the Prophecy. It took everything Cabana had to hold Punk back from attacking the group as the Second City Saints went to the back with Punk vowing revenge. Dan Maff made his way to the ring and Daniels said, “C’mon Dan Maff, let’s celebrate!” But Maff was PISSED. Maff wanted to know what the hell was going on and said, “On two occasions. TWO OCCASSIONS I swore on my father’s memory that the Prophecy had nothing to do with the attack….now, what the HELL is that SCUMBAG doing here?!” Whitmer wanted to know what Maff’s problem was and Maff yelled, “I can’t stand you! That’s my problem!” Daniels tried to play peacemaker as Maff asked Danger if she knew about this. Daniels finally got Maff calmed down enough to do the group hand signal and pose. Another incredible angle that tied up the months-long Lucy storyline while starting up a new one that had subtlety been building since Punk hit that German Suplex on Whitmer at Epic Encounter. My hat is off to Gabe Sapolsky on that one. Of course this was the beginning of what could have been a tremendous Prophecy/Second City Saints feud by a couple months later TNA would put a stop to that.

***It’s Intermission and Gary Michael Capetta was with the Briscoe Brothers. Jay put over Jim Cornette and said as tag champs they will take on all comers. Jay also told Samoa Joe to get whoever he wanted as a partner, the Briscoes would still kick his ass. All of a sudden the Carnage Crew burst in and Mark was pissed at the interruption. I really liked this as in the WWE, interviews are interrupted all the time and the guys being interrupted are usually like, “meh, whatever.” Mark wanted to know what the Crew were doing there and DeVito said this was about family and the Briscoes could relate to that. Capetta said that Special K were on their way to Chicago to appear on Colt Cabana’s Good Times, Great Memories show. The Crew was pissed and said they knew that show was being taped in the building and would find out where.

(5) The Second City Saints (C.M. Punk & Colt Cabana) beat Tomiaoki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto. The Japanese guys are part of All Japan wrestling as the theme of the second half of this show was ROH versus All Japan in four inter-promotional matches. That’s pretty damn cool. I remember when the WWE tried their hand at the “inter-promotional” game with a ten man match that had the Rock on the WWE’s side against a team from “WCW” and “ECW” that had Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T and Shane McMahon.. Shockingly, fans left in droves afterward. Gee, I wonder why? Something tells me Eric Bischoff would have realized the nWo would have flopped had its first three members been Tatanka, Doink the Clown, and Lex Luger.

Before the match started, Punk’s looks towards Cabana’s goofy ring entrance were priceless. Punk’s gimmick of taking wrestling 100% seriously is fantastic. I am surprised however that the “Cabanadana” isn’t for sale at the ROH gimmick table. How easy would that be to make? We were quickly thrown to the back, where Dunn and Marcos were trying to talk to the Great Muta, who looked like he was ripped straight out of a Troma film like Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and I mean that in a good way. Muta started talking gibberish (or fluent Japanese for all I know) and began to grip his throat as if to spray the dreaded green mist, but Dunn and Marcos hightailed it out of there. Good idea.

We then went back to the match which now had Ray Morrow (ROH cameraman Doug Gentry) joining Chris Lovey on commentary. Morrow started off by talking about the scars on Tomiaoki Honma’s back, saying that Honma was not only a participant in one of the first King of the Death Match over in Japan, but also the first person to ever use a light tube as a weapon. That sound you hear is Thomas Edison spinning in his grave. Punk took Honma outside the ring threw him hard into the guardrail with Honma taking a fantastic bump. The Saints did their great double team move to Miyamoto when Cabana applied an inverse Boston Crab while Punk ran in to lock on a camel clutch. This was broken up when Honma flew across the ring and hit Punk with a dropkick that sent Punk’s head straight back into Cabana’s. Nice. I didn’t notice this on the first half of the show, but there seems to be 100 guys surrounding the ring taking pictures. The announcers mentioned the Japanese press was at the show but how many wrestling magazines/dirtsheets are there over there anyway?

Late in the match, Miyamoto did a lame looking front slam to Cabana but more than made up for it by climbing to the top and hitting a Senton Bomb. You don’t see that move every day and it will always look cool to me. Punk hit a Michinokou Driver on Honma, but while Punk was running to jump outside the ring he was “speared in half” by Miyamoto. Not long after that, Punk did a springboard dropkick and mad me wonder where the hell this move-set came from. The action became crazy hot near the end including an insane superplex by the All Japan guys to Punk. A superplex in which Miyamoto was on Honma’s shoulders like he would be for a chicken fight. Not long afterwards, the Saints got the advantage and Cabana lifted Honma up to Punk so the Punker could deliver a devastating Pepsi Plunge for the win. (16:30) Talk about a fun match to watch.

***After the match the crowd was roaring “ROH! ROH!” and then “All Japan! All Japan!” I gotta give the fans in Philly props as tonight they were as rabid throughout the show, creating an atmosphere that really took each match up a notch.

(6) A.J. Styles beat Kaz Hayashi. I remember Kaz from the latter days of WCW but I don’t remember him being so JAKKED. Morrow brought up that Kaz was the first person ever to take the Styles Clash from A.J. To quote the late Johnny Carson, ”I did not know that.” Kaz was part of the Jung Dragons (including Jamie-San Noble, now known as James Gibson) and I’m getting misty eyed thinking of the Dragons – 3 Count feud. Not everything in WCW sucked. C.M. Punk rejoined the commentary and Chris Lovey left instead of Morrow. Well, this should be interesting. After Lovey left, Punk said, “That guy’s a jerk.” A.J. was his usual incredible self in this match but did the weirdest thing ever when he was thrown into the guardrail and hopped ever it like he usually does, but then disappeared into the crowd. Kaz looked just as confused as I was. A few moments later A.J. appeared in a different section of the crowd. WTF? Black Scorpion redux.

Back in the ring the two had a CHOP FEST and I could almost feel the Kaz’s chest as it was destroyed. Me want to see A.J. versus Kobashi, now. After Kaz was on the receiving end of a spinning heel kick, he got right back in A.J.’s face and yelled out, “F--- YOU!!” Kaz then gave Styles a wicked kick followed by a brainbuster. Wow! Throughout the match A.J. would keep trying to hit the Styles Clash, but Kaz would always find a counter to it, such as just kicking A.J. in the head. Another time Kaz reversed the move into a hurracanrana. The finish came when Kaz slammed A.J. and went to the top rope, but Styles was able to get up and crotch Kaz who fell back down straight into a Styles Clash! (14:45) This card is officially on a roll.

(7) Satoshi Kojima beat Homicide (w/Julius Smokes). Kojima came down wearing a PHAT Phantom of the Opera like get-up that was much cooler than how I described it. Homicide came down with not just Smokes, but also Monsta Mack and Low Ki.

Wait a second.

”HOLY SHIT! IT’S F---ING LOW KI!!”

That was my actual response upon seeing the stiffest bastard in the world. Lovey came back on commentary and said earlier in the day Ki had made up with Homicide. I’m really excited now. There was some great interaction between Kojima and Smokes throughout this match including Kojima doing a crotch chop to Smokes while Ray Morrow wondered, “Did Kojima just tell Smokes to suck it?” Later Kojima was hitting Homicide in the corner and the ref counted to five but Kojima said, “I don’t understand!” meaning he didn’t understand English, but Kojima said it in English and that had me laughing my ass off. I’m already a fan of Satoshi Kojima.

The match went outside the ring and Kojima did a SICK belly to belly suplex on Homicide that looked like it knocked Homicide loopy. Kojima then grabbed an instant camera from a fan and took a picture of Homicide on the ground. Another fan offered a chair to Kojima but he passed and did a “thank you very much” bow. THIS IS THE GREATEST MATCH EVER. Homicide must have been legit f---ed up because the rest of the match he was John Heidenrich bad. 'Cide tried to climb the ropes once and fell straight off, causing the announcers to point out that he must have suffered a concussion because so many things looked really bad. Hey, I’ll give the guy straight up props for continuing to have a good of a match as he did. Kojima did a German suplex on Homicide that made me cringe when it whacked Homicide’s head against the mat and immediately Homicide grabbed it like, “Oh shit!”

Amazingly, Homicide kept kicking out of every pin attempt but eventually fell victim to Kojima after he was crushed by two lariats. (13:10) I don’t care that half this match was screwed up due to Homicide being out of his mind, this was – from bell to bell – a decent match to watch. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if Homicide hadn’t been knocked silly. I read people who write that the first Hell in the Cell match hasn’t aged well and give the match one star, or at the most two stars, and I want to say, “F--- you. I watched that match live and everyone else who did the same saw something they will never forget. That’s what wrestling is all about and not some arbitrary nit picking of the moves.” That, in a nutshell, is why I can’t give a star rating to matches because there are so many other factors that make up in what I enjoy in a match.

As a side note, I wholly endorse the Straight Shootin' with CM Punk and Samoa Joe DVD as Punk told a great story about the time he prank phone called Gabe Sapolsky. Punk made the call while impersonating Homicide, telling Gabe that he would have to back out of Final Battle and his match against Kojima. Words can not describe how hilarious the entire segment is and how good a job Punk does when talking like Homicide.

***Super quick promo by ROH's favorite metalhead, Jerry Lynn, who basically said he’s all about the Pure Wrestling Title. Lynn added, “That’s what I’m made of.”

(8) The Great Muta & Arashi beat The Prophecy (Dan Maff & Christopher Daniels w/Allison Danger) to retain the All Japan Tag Team Titles. The crowd was what we like to refer to as “hoss” for the Great Muta. Dear lord did they go nuts and this was before Muta even came out. I swear to God Muta arrived looking like the Super Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II movie and you know what? He looked cool. The crowd was eating everything up and anytime I read on the Internet about how the Hurricane or whoever can’t get over because of their gimmick or look I’m going to send a copy of this DVD to that writer with a note that says, “Stick this up your ass.” After Muta was announced, a cascade of streamers flew into the ring for another great visual. This match is already rating a 10 on the Spectacle Scale. Arashi is apparently an ex Sumo wrestler and doesn’t appear to have missed many meals since switching over to wrestling.

Arashi immediately just started tossing around Dan Maff like Maff was Spike Dudley. Oh my. Daniels tagged in and said he wanted Muta. The crowd went apeshit when Muta tagged in. The two locked up for a bit and after Daniels started to get cocky Muta stepped back and let some Green Mist fly and this looked better than anything Tajiri’s ever done. That’s not a knock on the Japanese Buzzsaw, just trying to get across how awesome this looked visually. Muta did his driving elbow spot that I’ve seen a thousand times and I marked out just like everyone in the crowd. Late in the match Arashi actually came into the ring and hit a dropkick. Can you imagine Rikishi doing a dropkick? I can’t. Maff threw some crazy stiff forearms into the side of Arashi’s head and tagged in Daniels so the Prophecy could hit a cool combo move that had Daniels hitting Arashi with the STO while Maff nailed a shoulderblock at the same time.

Muta came into the ring and hits a dragon screw on Daniels before applying a figure four as the crowd yelled “WHHHOOOOOO!” The crowd was just going bananas. Maff made the save, but was then thrown out of the ring by Arashi. Outside, Maff grabbed a chair and nailed Muta in the back, but when Maff got in the ring for another shot he was hit by the RED MIST~! This was unbelievable! Daniels attacked Muta, but missed his Best Moonsault Ever, which then set Daniels up for Muta’s Shining Wizard for the pin. (16:05)

***”LIVE” from Chicago, it’s Good Times, Great Memories with your host Colt Cabana. Colt’s guests today were Special K and as the kids come in Cabana said, “I got Izzy. I got Dixie. I got Dizzy. I got Sleepy. I got Floppy. I got Flippy. I got Flappy. C’mon in guys!” Becky Bayless came in late and Colt gave her a chair while staring at her breasts and saying things like, “Special K, you guys have gotten big." This just in: Colt Cabana is money.

Dixie started to talk smack, saying that it wasn’t K’s fault their parents were rich and the Carnage Crew had to wait until the first of the month for their welfare checks. Out of nowhere came DeVito and Loc, who started to beat the hell out the K kids until they scattered like roaches when the lights come on. Cabana was upset at his show being ruined and said to the Crew, “You guys flew all the way to Chicago to..” Loc cut him Cabana off by yelling, “SHUT UP!” DeVito then said this battle has gotten personal as his 13 year old daughter was slipped some “X” at a rave and ended up coming home at eight in the morning. I think that’s what time James Guttman rolls into bed after finishing his Raw Insanity recaps every Monday night. Loc told K, “We are going to kill you!!”

***Backstage we were shown The Prophecy before they shot a promo and Maff was bitching about being kept in the dark and called Whitmer a buffoon. Maff again brought up that he vowed on his father’s memory that The Prophecy had nothing to do with the attack on Lucy and Daniels said, “I didn’t tell you to make any promises! I didn’t tell you to swear on anyone’s grave!” Daniels said they need to be on the same page and follow his play. The group then shot a promo which was great because as Daniels talked, Maff was glaring at Whitmer and mouthing, “F--- you. I hate you.” Maff was so the man here. Daniels said that at Final Battle 2002 the Prophecy held all of ROH’s belts and were attacked by Steve Corino’s The Group. Daniels said that at Final Battle 2004 they will hold the belts again and rid the company of the Second City Saints. A great skit to cap the show.

Overall Thoughts: What a show to close out 2003 as the Philly fans came through in a major way to make a solid show that much better. There are so many good matches on this card it is impossible to pick a favorite as I was convinced the John Walters – Xavier match couldn’t be topped, but the All Japan guys brought with them an electric atmosphere. One of those DVDs you need to see as a wrestling fan. 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.

Special Thanks to Keith Lipinski for his help with this review.

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Don't forget to check out Derek's weekly Wrestling Enjoyment Index or his latest Opinion Piece.

Derek Burgan has been writing for the Wrestling Observer/Figure 4 Weekly~! family since October, 2005. He previous worked as a caricaturist in Iran. If you have any questions, corrections, feedback, comments and ideas, he can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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