Ring of Honor’s 2002 is made up of some very uneven shows, but still some shows very much worth checking out. Each show retails for 15 dolllars, so the best time to get them is during a Big Ten Sale when they are 10 dollars, and sometimes also 10% off.

1. All Star Extravaganza (A-)

Easily the best ROH show of 2002. It features an excellent Bryan Danielson vs AJ Styles match (plus an encounter between Danielson and Paul London) a 6 man tag between the Prophecy and Doug Williams, Low Ki and Homicide which is just excellent, a good Jay Briscoe vs Xavier match for the title, and a fun Zero One vs ROH main event (though everyone in it toured Zero One) with Masato Tanaka and Ohtani vs Steve Corino and Low Ki. By far the best top to bottom show in 2002 for ROH, with very little crap and a lot of high quality wrestling.

2. Road to the Title (B)

Unlike ASX, this is a much more uneven show. There’s a lot of crap and short matches,  but some really good and important matches as well. Bryan Danielson vs Doug Williams is quite good, as is Jerry Lynn vs AJ Styles and Low Ki vs Amazing Red which features a mind blowing minute of action during it. Christopher Daniels vs AJ Styles is also excellent as you would expect. The rest of it…. not so good.

3. Honor Invades Boston (B)

This is something of a forgotten show, but is really damned good. Jay vs Mark Briscoe is one of the best matches of 2002, and was the best match the two of them had against each other until 2007. AJ Styles vs Low Ki is also excellent and the best ROH title defense of 2002 or 2003. Add in a really good Donovan Morgan vs Bryan Danielson match and a good Michael Shane vs Paul London match and you have one of the better ROH shows of 2002. Natural Born Sinners vs Maritato and Mamaluke is pretty good as well… but other than that the rest of the card is pretty bad. Unless you love bloody hardcore matches, then the Boston Massacre Match will appeal to you as well.

4. Round Robin Challenge (B-)

Another uneven show. The RRC matches are excellent, but the rest is forgettable. Low Ki vs Bryan Danielson is the best ROH match of 2002, and the other two RRC matches are in the high three star range. Other than that only Jay Briscoe vs Spanky is any good, so once again a very uneven show.

5. Glory By Honor(C+)

ROH’s trademark show, and the first one is pretty good. Low Ki vs Samoa Joe gives this show a one match reputation but that is undeserved. While that match is a MOTYC for 2002 and pretty damned unique, there are other good matches on here. Amazing Red vs Ikuto Hidaka is a damned good match that really shows off why Hidaka is great, he works well with Red to rein in Red a bit and it makes the match so much better than the average Red match.Christopher Daniels vs Doug Williams is good but a bit disappointing, and Mamaluke vs Maritato is good as wel. Everything else? Mostly crap except for an above average three way between Spanky, Michael Shane and Paul London and the tag scramble. Actually… that’s a pretty good crap to non crap ratio for ROH in 2002.

6. Night of the Butcher(C)

Seriously. The show with Abdullah the Butcher in the main event is in the top half of ROH shows in 2002. His match sucks, but there is some really good stuff on this card. Paul London vs Bryan Danielson is great, AJ Styles vs Xavier is really good, Bryan Danielson vs Chad Collyer makes you wonder how Collyer never was bigger on the indies than he was, and the tag scramble is very fun, though a bit too long. Add in a good and important historically CM Punk vs Colt Cabana match, and this show gets an undeserved bad rap.

7. Crowning a Champion(C-)

Notice how I called Styles vs Low Ki the best title DEFENSE in ROH in 2002 or 2003? Because Spanky vs Doug Williams vs Christopher Daniels vs Low Ki is the best ROH title match until Joe vs Punk II. It is an amazing 60 minute Iron Man match. Other than that, Natural Born Sinners vs Carnage Crew is a good Bunkhouse brawl, and the X Division Three way is above average and not a whole lot else. But you are getting an hour of amazing wrestling on this show, so it really elevates the whole show and makes “one match show” less of a put down.

8. Final Battle 2002 (C-)

This is a show people will disagree about, so I will note that here. The main event is REALLY controversial. I won’t spoil it here, but some people think of it as one of ROH’s best matches in 2002, some people HATE it. It is a Four Corner Survival. I won’t say anymore here as that might spoil it. I thought it was excellent. Xavier vs Paul London is also a damned good match, The tag title match between the SAT and the Prophecy is also controversial. Some people say it is utter crap, but Chris Daniels says it was one of the better tags he had in his first run in ROH, and other reviewers have said good things, plus the crowd got really into it, so I’ll ignore the opinion of the ROH Forum here. There’s also another good Punk vs Cabana match.

Guess what? Everything else on the show sucks!

9. The Era of Honor Begins (D+)

Low Ki vs Bryan Danielson vs Christopher Daniels is a classic three way and one of the best matches of 2002. If you are getting this show you are getting it for that and Eddie vs Super Crazy. That match is good, but not much more, but people want to see Eddie in ROH. Other than that, the only other match I enjoyed was the ULTIMATE AERIAL ELIMINATION spotfest. Fun stuff. The rest of this show is really dreadful though, with bad sports entertainment, bad matches, stupid kickouts, etc. Jay Briscoe vs Amazing Red is especially guilty of the latter.

10. Night of Appreciation (D+)

More Eddie. I like his tag here better than his singles match, but you aren’t getting Eddie putting on a classic so don’t expect it. AJ Styles vs Low Ki is the real stand out on this show, but not up to the level of their HIB match. Donovan Morgan vs Christopher Daniels is also good, and not much else.

11.Scramble Madness (D-)

If you hate Scramble matches, put this one at #12. but the mega scramble on this show is a fun match. A really fun match, shockingly so because the next Mega Scramble at One Year Anniversary is AWFUL! Other than that you have Jay Briscoe/Mystery Partner vs Mark Briscoe/Mystery Partner which is really good, Bryan Danielson vs Doug Williams in a really good (though slightly underwhelming given the two involved) 30 Minute Iron man match, Joe vs Homicide for the first time in ROH, and… not much else.

12. Unscripted (D-)

This will be slightly controversial because the Paul London vs Michael Shane street fight is beloved by ROH fans. It is a great match, but ROH has had better street fights, Paul London has had better matches and Michael Shane… well this is probably the best singles match of his career. So good for him. In the tournament for the tag titles, the finals is above average, and the Prophecy vs Togo and Hidaka are good, but everything else is below average. The ROH title match is terrible with a finish that I can’t say I’m a fan of, but the match itself is one of Ki’s worst in ROH, as he appeared to be working through an injury. Maritato/Mamaluke is also really bad, despite them having a good match later on. Just a disappointing show and the worst ROH did in 2002.

However,  if you are a BIG Paul London fan, this is a pretty big show for you.

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