That is who Jimmy Rave was at one point in his ROH career. But just seeing a video of him in action doesn’t sum up the road that brought him to that point, nor does it tell you just who this man has become in the months and years since. For a true look at former “Crown Jewel” of The Embassy, it is necessary to reflect back on how he got to the point where he has not seen the inside of an ROH ring since September 2009.
Rave first stepped into action at “Do or Die” way back in May of 2003 when he competed in a Four Corner Survival against CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, and Frankie Kazarian. Rave impressed enough to be brought back into the fold a few months later at the historic “Death Before Dishonor” event in July of the same year where he fell to Matt Stryker. The majority of Rave’s ROH rookie year was spent battling as part of the Field Of Honor tournament where he garnered some valuable experience against the likes of Colt Cabana, BJ Whitmer, and Dan Maff but was completely unsuccessful in his bracket.
Rave stepped up against Christopher Daniels & CM Punk in matches in the closing months of that year but victory was not to be his then either. It wasn’t until the first event of 2004, where Rave battled against Caprice Coleman, Rainman, and Todd Sexton in a Four Corner Survival, that he secured his first victory in Ring of Honor. The next several months of the year were as unsuccessful as those of 2003, culminating in a match at “World Title Classic” against the Generation Next group where if Jimmy lost he would be out of Ring of Honor. Unfortunately for him, that is exactly what happened as Rave lost, pinned by Austin Aries, and had to leave ROH.
His absence was short-lived however as Prince Nana was in the burgeoning stages of forming his Embassy and promising to unveil his Crown Jewel at “Reborn: Completion” in July of 2004. A very different Jimmy Rave stepped through the curtain that night, one who exuded disgust for the fans and for ROH itself, and he would go on to defeat Trent Acid that evening in New Jersey. Rave would go on an incredible win streak, not tasting defeat again until December when John Walters bested him in a pair of Pure Title matches.
2005 would prove a defining year in the career of Rave as he fought two of the greatest battles of his ROH tenure that year. The first began at “Third Anniversary Celebration Pt. 2” when AJ Styles made his return to ROH for the first time in a year to battle the man he had mentored, the man who had stolen AJ’s signature move in recent months, and renamed it The Rave Clash. That night in Dayton, Rave won, and the following night in Chicago, the other great rivalry of his ROH career was born when he defeated CM Punk after spraying something toxic into the eyes of the future ROH World Champion. On back-to-back nights, Rave beat two of the greatest competitors ROH has ever seen and started two wars that would shape his future.
The next several months saw Punk trying his best to get his hands on Rave to no avail. When the two men were chained together in a Dog Collar bout at “Manhattan Mayhem” in May 2005 the world though Punk would finally get his chance, but it was Rave, with the liberal use of a chair across the skull of Punk, that walked away victorious in NYC. One week later, at “Nowhere to Run”, with a future shot at the ROH World Title on the line, Rave finally got his just desserts when Punk beat him, but Jimmy showed everyone his toughness over the course of these wars.
The next several months saw AJ reenter the picture, scoring a victory over Rave at “Sign of Dishonor” but losing in a Street Fight at “The Homecoming” before it all culminated at “Glory by Honor IV” in a match that could only be ended when one competitor used the Clash on the other. AJ won, barring Rave from using the move anymore, but again Rave demonstrated how tough of a warrior he truly was. In the process of reaching resolution with AJ Styles, Rave also received his first ever Title bouts in ROH, challenging for both the Tag Titles & Pure Title in 2005, and also saw the foundations of war with Generation Next built. That GenNext war culminated at “Steel Cage Warfare” after months of back-and-forth where the whole of Generation Next beat the whole of The Embassy.
2006 would prove an uneven year for the Crown Jewel as he earned his first ever ROH World Title match, challenging Bryan Danielson at the “Fourth Anniversary Show”, but he would reach a roadblock named Davey Richards in the summer months, falling to him in three straight singles bouts. After several months of losing, Rave refocused himself, perfected a deadly Heel Hook submission, and embarked into a series of battles with Nigel McGuinness that wrapped up in a Fight Without Honor at “FYF: Finale” in April 2007. Rave floundered for the remainder of 2007, despite challenging for both the ROH World Title & the Tag Titles in the early months, and in July of that year, quietly stepped away from Ring of Honor.
A year and a half passed without so much as a word from Rave until he made a surprising reappearance at the “7th Anniversary Show” alongside Prince Nana’s reborn Embassy to battle Bryan Danielson, and his surprising partner, Colt Cabana! Rave returned with a vengeance, eventually narrowing his focus onto The Necro Butcher after suffering a loss at “Manhattan Mayhem III”. The Embassy viciously assaulted Necro, capped off with Rave locking in the Heel Hook and seriously injuring the leg of the Butcher. Little did he know that that one action would ultimately put him out of ROH again...
After a few months of doing all he could to avoid fighting Necro, Rave once more found himself strapped to a Dog Collar at “Final Countdown Tour: Chicago” with Necro Butcher on the other end. The match was brutal, bloody, and violent; leaving destruction throughout the Frontier Fieldhouse, and ending with Jimmy Rave defeated.
That night was the last the ROH faithful saw of Jimmy Rave until this went online (skip ahead to 10:18)…
ROH officials have talked with Jimmy Rave in-depth prior to, and since, that interview became public and it is now 100% official that Jimmy Rave will battle “The Dominant Male” Tommaso Ciampa at “Final Battle 2011” THIS Friday night December 23rd! It has been over two years since we have seen Rave in action here in Ring of Honor, and we know how dangerous of an opponent he was then. What new tricks has he added to his repertoire since? Is there any other man who knows the mind of Prince Nana as well as Rave? Could that make all the difference? Ciampa has put down the likes of Colt Cabana and Homicide in 2011, will he add another legendary member of the ROH roster to his list to close out the year? Prince Nana had this to say…
“Jimmy Rave huh? Jimmy Rave? That man is the past of The Embassy my friend. Jimmy Rave laid the foundation many years ago, but the lifestyle that Prince Nana offers was too much for him. After that dirty Butcher beat him, Jimmy hid away from me, and stopped returning my calls, and that is no type of friend. I gave him everything he ever had. The Embassy made him, and now he wants to come back to Ring of Honor and beat my Project Ciampa? Well my friend, you’ve got another thing coming as that song says. This is a new time for The Embassy, a new era of undefeated greatness, and the Dominant One will show you that time has passed you by Jimmy Rave. The Embassy is forever, my friend, you are not.”