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February 23, 2002 / Jonathan Sullivan

Jay Briscoe vs. The Amazing Red from ROH 2002

Raised on the mainstream stuff since 1991, Jon still finds himself frightened and confused when it comes to the indies so he uses Free Wrestling to help him face his fear. When not here you can find him on Twitter, on Tumblr, on Donner, on Blitzen, etc.

Event: The Era of Honor Begins
Date: February 23, 2002

Thoughts Going In

I’ve been flirting with ROH casually since 2012 but much like most of my teenage years I’ve been too afraid to commit (also like my teenage years ROH keeps ignoring me for cooler guys). With the company having arguably one of its better years right now it sounds fun to go back to where it all began in 2002, with a match between a guy I know pretty much only from TNA (The Amazing Red) and a guy I would be afraid to be in the same room with (Jay Briscoe). The video doesn’t seem too long so I’m not expecting too much so let’s see how it goes.

The Action

Promo before the match from both men but they don’t say anything worth recapping. Is Don West gonna bring Red out to the ring? Probably not. Briscoe is accompanied to the ring by his brother Mark, who was too young at the time to actually compete in the state of PA. Seeing them look so, uh, showered I guess (?) is weird. Commentator says this is the first scheduled match in ROH history. Nice.

Red brings Briscoe down with a waistlock takeover but Briscoe rolls over for a lateral press that Red quickly kicks out of. Briscoe with a snapmare, Red lands on his feet and takes Briscoe down. Stalemate. Red sure likes to do flippy things. Both jockey for position, Briscoe hits a shoulderblock, Red leapfrogs Briscoe. Briscoe leapfrogs Red and sends him flying right out to the floor. Briscoe tries to follow up with a slingshot splash but Red is nowhere to be found. Red rolls Briscoe back in and connects with right hands but Briscoe rebounds with a leg lariat. Red slides under Briscoe’s legs and hits a one-legged dropkick. Both men reset and Briscoe suckers him in with a handshake turned right hand. Red kicks Briscoe in the gut and hits a spinning kick to the back of the head for the 1…2…kickout.

Briscoe reverses a corner Irish whip and blocks a tornado DDT. Red tries again and Briscoe just crotches him on the top buckle strut. Briscoe picks Red up and connects with a muscle buster, causing the crowd to chant “HOLY SH*T!” as he covers for the 1…2…kickout. Briscoe heads to the top but gets a shot to the breadbasket for his troubles and Red follows up with a brainbuster for the 1…2…kickout. The ROH banner hanging in the background perfectly fits the basketball glass. Smart. Red with hard kicks to Briscoe, culminating in a spinning heel but then he runs right into a bit boot. Red counters a Jay Driller attempt with backdrop into a pin for the 1…2…kickout. Briscoe tries again and after Red tries to escape again finally hits it, Red convulsing on the ground like he’s wrestling in the 80s. Briscoe crawls over and covers for the 1…2…Red gets his foot on the bottom rope. Womp womp. Briscoe heads to the top once more but gets crotched when Red runs into the ropes. Briscoe regroups and tries to climb again. They try some sort of high-impact move but they don’t even touch and it’s dumb so let’s forget about it. Briscoe makes everyone forget about that dumb spot with a nasty German suplex, spilling Red right on his head (he’s dead). Briscoe goes to the top for the third time and misses the Cannonball Senton. Red quickly scales to the top and hits a corkscrew moonsault followed by a standing shooting star press for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: The Amazing Red (8:30)

Review

Thirteen years ago I’m sure people were wowed by some of the moves in this one, as evidenced by the crowd losing their collective shit at times, but to be honest this match hasn’t aged well. I didn’t hate it or anything but it just didn’t do anything for me. It was pretty cool seeing super young “normal” Briscoe Brothers though, and I respect this for being the first real match in the history of ROH, but I’m already forgetting what happened so yeah. (**)

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