Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
For my first random review of a Ring of Honor match, I had this match recommended to me. It's from the early days of Ring of Honor, coming in their first year. It also happens to be the debut of Samoa Joe, who would go on to become an icon of the company. He was brought in as a hired gun for the Prophecy to take out Low Ki. For a debut match, this was arguably the best way to go for Joe. The match was something that, at least I, wasn't really accustomed to seeing from something in 2002. They went at it in what seemed like an MMA style war, featuring tons of strikes. I feel like it had to have been different from anything else on the card. They legit just beat the fuck out of each other for the entire match, with the shots getting more and more brutal by the minute. Admittedly, this isn't for everyone. There were two parts in particular that made me cringe a bit. First, Joe lands rough on a suplex and second, he just takes several kicks right to the face, not blocking a single one. As for why it was such a good debut, it showed that Samoa Joe was not only a serious threat, taking someone like Low Ki to the limit and we saw that he was something completely different.