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[2003-08-16-ROH-Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies] Steve Corino vs Homicide

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Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies - August 16, 2003

 

Relaxed Rules Match
Steve Corino vs. Homicide
This is one that stands the test of time.
Quite easily the best gimmick match up to that point, and for good reason. Not only does it have the epic brutality, but at all times it kept the crowd engaged. To have this style of match, which was based on simple hatred, and not focused on jaw-dropping spots, and have the crowd buying NEAR-FALLS at the end is something that should be seen to be truly believed.
What separates this also from the previous gimmick matches in ROH is that it wasn't a pile of career-ending moves. There wasn't a significant rest period. There wasn't a lack of storytelling. They didn't go out there and kill a bunch of finishers. Everything meant something in this match. If there was anything wrong with the match, it's that a got a bit TOO brutal and caused injuries (making rest time needed but not too significantly), which kept the match from reaching the level of Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker at Bad Blood 1997 or Triple H vs. Cactus Jack at Royal Rumble 2000. But you need not worry - this match still holds up today and is probably the greatest match of both men's careers, in front of a crowd of just 250 fans.
Rating: ****1/2[/quote

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The pre-match stuff in this is hilarious, from Corino's sort of tongue in cheek entrance mocking the big entrances of guys in Japan (as if he wasn't working for Z1 at the time) to his neverending list of titles he has named. I've always thought the start of this was kind of odd with them trading leglocks but when they get nose to nose and Homicide delivers THE slap it's on. You get a pretty violent brawl with Homicide turning in a great babyface performance to work well off of Corino's ability to rile up a crowd. The missed dive was nuts and really takes the match to another level as you get a nasty bladejob from Homicide which Corino goes after. I feel like the finishing stretch tries to be a little too "epic" for this and the commentary is downright embarrassing at some points ("are we going to have to censor this???") but this has too much going on in between all of that for me to come down too harshly on it. Easily the best match they had during their feud.

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Homicide vs Steve Corino - ROH 8/16/03

The infamous "Slap" match where according to wrestling lore Homicide slapped Corino so hard that Corino lost hearing in his ear. I have heard many times this was a shoot. But I have my doubts. I respect people on here so if someone wants to say this is 100% shoot I'll believe them. One reason I thought it was a work is that the announcer conveniently jump to the right conclusion. I have seen 8 bajillion slaps in wrestling. Not once did I ever jump to the conclusion, oh shit he knocked his equilibrium off or he cupped his ear so bad, that dude may have shoot lost hearing. 

The match actually starts more traditionally then I expected. I liked Homicide quashing the drop toehold into the his own leg lace. There seems to be a weird miscommunication but then Corino taunts Homicide he slaps him. Then Corino gets up and Homicide really CRACKS him and this is "The Slap". Homicide maims Corino with barbed wire ripping at the flesh on his arm. The transitions in this match were pretty shitty, but they made up for it with great violence. Corino smashes Homicide head into the guardrails and he gigs himself real good. Taps a gusher, he is bleeding like a faucet. There is a pool of blood around his head at one point, nasty. Loved the piledriver on the timekeeper's table by Corino and Corino returns the favor using the barbed wire. 'Cide is bleeding buckets. Homicide hits a ballshot! Finally a good transition. Unfortunately, they decide to go Kings Road for the finish. They were having a pretty good bloody brawl. The finish run was very 2000s Indy at the time and enjoyed it but felt wrong for what they were going for. The announcers were talking about the resiliency and fighting spirit of Corino, which does not make sense in this context, but the match was wrestled that way. I liked the Super Ace Crusher from Homicide. Lots of Stan Hansen Lariat tribute stuff. Homicide applies the Regal Stretch (maybe a slight modification) and a Corino flunky throws in the towel.

I really enjoyed the slap through the ballshot portion. Lots of good old school brawl, blood & guts violence. I think they could have picked up the urgency a little, but still I dug it. The King's Road finish stretch felt tacked and just like it is 2003 in Ring Of Honor and this is just how we finish matches. I still enjoyed the match, but it is not the all-timer that I wanted it to be. ***3/4

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A ROH classic worthy of its reputation. It's always as nasty as ever; Homicide & Corino just completely brutalize one another in the most vicious, stunning ways they could here, and it's some compelling stuff, to say the least. Corino's epic introduction, THE SLAP, 'cide cutting Corino's arm with barbed wire & then continuing to destroy it with a FORK & by biting it, Corino smashing Homicide's head on the barricade & cutting him open, digging his fingers & barbed wire in that cut, Homicide's fucking dive where his back eats shit on the rail on his way flying to the crowd, that dramatic, blood-filled 2nd gear they kick the thing into once the finish is coming nearer & nearer. Everything always holds up. It's a masterpiece of its genre -- the big moments in the match are visually stunning & super memorable + the action really never gets boring for one second. One minute they are doing a number on one another with weapons, and one minute they are punching & booting their heads in. It's all oh-so-good. Hate-filled pro-wrestling grudge match violence done brilliantly. ****1/2

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This is a blood feud that has been building up for months now and even featured both guys factions being involved in a riot at one of the past shows. Corino's entrance with all of the titles and having the ring announcer announce him as an over the top champion was great given the crowds he's in front of. One of the bloodiest and most brutal matches in the history of the company. Corino got his ear drum busted by a brutal slap. Homicide bleed buckets. Homicide used barb wire and a fork to carve up Corino's arm. It's surprising Homicide didn't paralyze himself as he hit one of the nastiest bumps I've ever seen when he missed a tope con hilo and ended up bending his back landing on the top of the guard rail. Homicide recurring to even bitting Corino's bloody arm was quite the gruesome visual. Gabe on commentary dragged my enjoyment of this down though with his endless yelling and constantly repeating of Corino's distaste for the fans. Great match regardless.

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