ROH 10th Anniversary Show: Young Wolves Rising
March 4, 2012
-From New York, NY. Our hosts, Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly, kick things off in the ring. They put over just how awesome tonight’s event is going to be. Nigel says that ten years ago, it looked like sports entertainment had won the war. Lucky for us, ROH stepped up to prove that professional wrestling is alive and well.
-Pretaped interview with the All Night Express. They’ve waited a long time to prove they are at the top of their game. Or something, I can’t really hear them. It might just be the same interview from the SBC show anyway.
The All Night Express vs. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin
Rhett Titus begins against Benjamin. Benjamin delivers a bulldog and tags in Kenny King, who targets the wrist. Benjamin tempts fate with a blatant low blow in front of referee Paul Turner. Haas tags in and gleefully basks in the “Fuck you, Charlie” chants from the audience. The ANX overwhelm Haas with their team work. The ANX clear the ring and dive onto WGTT on the floor. Haas cowers in the ropes and cheap shots King, which distracts Turner from seeing Benjamin sneak in and attack the recently injured knee of Rhett Titus. WGTT smell blood and isolate Titus, mainly working over the hurt knee. The referee prevents Benjamin from using a chair at the last second, but he settles on wrapping Titus around the ring post. Titus manages to trade blows with Haas and finally makes the hot tag. A fresh Kenny King tells WGTT what’s up. King slips up and improvises a leg submission. The ANX overwhelm Benjamin to the point where Haas needs to save him. The match breaks down with all four men in the ring. King counters a power bomb and pins Benjamin’s shoulders down for the win at 13:34! That’s got to be considered an upset. This was a strong opener, aside from a couple sloppy moments, **¾.
Winners: The All Night Express
-WGTT deal with their loss by flipping the bird to the fans in attendance. Can’t say I blame them.
-Kelly and McGuinness reminisce Nigel’s rivalry with “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson. Kelly adds that ROH is now watched by a million viewers every week. If that’s true, that’s awesome. Meanwhile, the crowd starts chanting Daniel Bryan’s “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
-Mike Bennett and entourage come to the ring. The crowd is still amused to chant “CM Punk” at Bennett and Maria. Bennett has a field day playing off the negative energy in the building and promises to wipe the floor with Homicide.
“The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob) vs. Homicide
Maria is now being billed as “The 1st woman of ROH.” In truth, she’s practically the only woman in ROH. Homicide rushes to the ring and immediately goes for the Cop Killa, prompting Bennett to take a hike. Since it’s an anniversary show, ‘Cide is dressed in his old-school ring gear. Bennett cowers long enough to find an opening to unleash some super exciting punches. Homicide surprises with an exploder suplex, but Brutal Bob shields Bennett from a dive. The fans entertain themselves by shouting derogative comments towards Mania while The Prodigy wears down Homicide. Bennett tears off Homicide’s Yankees shirt and wipes his ass with it. Homicide blocks and nails an ace crusher. Bennett wins a slugfest but Homicide responds with a power bomb. ‘Cide pays homage to Samoa Joe with an STF. Homicide blocks a superplex and teases a top rope Cop Killa. Bennett saves his life by blocking the maneuver. Homicide plants Bennett and signals GTS, but Maria distracts on the apron. Bennett nearly knocks Maria down and gets caught with GTS. Homicide spends too much time dealing with Maria and gets rolled up at 10:52. Homicide playing tribute to past ROH greats was a nice touch, but this was pretty average, **.
Winner: Mike Bennett
-Homicide is a sore loser and goes after Maria. Bennett and Homicide play tug of war with Maria in the ropes, but ultimately Bennett rescues his fair lady. Homicide leads the building in a “Let’s go, Yankees” chant. Hey, we all deal with failure differently. ‘Cide wraps it up by wishing a very happy birthday to Ring of Honor.
-Bobby Cruise introduces CHIKARA Grand Champion Eddie Kingston to the building. This has the potential to be really interesting, no joke. Kevin Kelly conducts an interview, calling attention to ROH’s new working relationship with CHIKARA. Kingston says he was really excited to see Davey Richards backstage. Richards’ music begins to play, but instead we’re joined by Kevin Steen! Steen is sporting a racket and banana, surely to mock Jim Cornette. Steen says it’s good to see Kingston but wonders when he became such a bitch. Steen does a top notch job dealing with hecklers in the crowd, but his main point is that Eddie Kingston disappeared a couple years ago after Cornette took over ROH. It sickens Steen to see Kingston thanking ROH for having him back and proposes that they team up to take over CHIKARA and ROH together. Things get personal when Steen claims that CHIKARA is a “bullshit Mickey Mouse promotion.” Kingston says CHIKARA means everything to him and he’d do anything for it. Steen says he didn’t come to fight but sometimes plans change. This sparks a pull-apart brawl.
-Steen is left alone with the CHIKARA Grand Championship and he gets ready to drop his pants to do something awful to it. The Colony and Jigsaw run in to save the title from a gruesome fate. Steen shakes off a dive and starts driving off the CHIKARA guys with his racket. They brawl into the back. This was a great segment and should prove to be an effective launching point for some big matches down the road.
Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini) vs. TJ Perkins and The Amazing Red
Perkins starts off against Strong in a back and forth contest. Strong is easily fed up and tags in the powerhouse, Elgin. Red tags and immediately gets tossed down. Elgin absorbs some shots but gets knocked down with a drop-kick. Red uses his speed to overwhelm Elgin and fights off an invading Strong. Perkins and Red hit stereo springboard cross bodies. Perkins flies into a power slam from Elgin. The House of Truth manage to isolate Perkins for an extending beating. Elgin impressively counters a tornado DDT into a tirt-a-whirl backbreaker. Perkins manages to shove Strong into Elgin’s midsection. Red gets the hot tag and enters with a double missile drop-kick. Red is a house on fire. Perkins finds a second wind of his own and helps clear the ring. Elgin catches Red on a dive, but Perkins sneaks in a suicide dive. Martini and Strong suffer stereo dives! Sunset Boom on Elgin by Red! Strong and Perkins exchange stiff shots. Strong fights off Red and Elgin plants him for a near fall. Perkins lays Strong out with a neck breaker. Elgin tosses Perkins and catches Red in mid-air. Elgin thrusts Red into a back cracker from Strong! That’s enough for the win at 11:10. This was a good, old-fashioned ROH spot-fest, **½.
Winners: Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin
-The Amazing Red gets the “please come back” treatment from the live crowd.
-Veda Scott interviews Tommaso Ciampa and the Embassy Ltd. Ciampa dismisses the notion that his undefeated streak is on the line. Jay Lethal is the only one with anything to lose. Ciampa says he will be the first and only undefeated champion in ROH.
ROH Television Championship:
Slow start with an extended lock-up. Ciampa scores with a shoulder tackle. Lethal answers with a hard chop. They sprint through a sequence of counters. Ciampa eats a drop-kick and retreats to ringside. They seem to be pacing themselves for a time limit draw as they circle around the ring. The pace quickens and Lethal delivers another drop-kick. The speed game isn’t working out too well for Ciampa. Lethal sends Ciampa crashing into the barricade with a drop-kick off the apron. R.D. Evans blocks Ciampa from a suicide dive, giving Ciampa an opening for a clothesline. Ciampa repeatedly uses the barricade as a weapon. Ciampa methodically goes to work on wearing Lethal down in the ring. Things get really tedious as Ciampa lumbers around. They trade stiff chops. Running knees to the head by Ciampa. Lethal shoots up for a sudden super kick! Lethal forges a comeback, complete with a flying elbow drop. They duke it out on the apron, with Ciampa delivering a nasty slam onto the frame! They crawl back to the ring. Lethal Combination, but the numerous Embassy members hop up to distract. Lethal knocks Princess Mia down! The time expires at 15:00 as Lethal pummels Ciampa into the corner. This was incredibly slow and plodding at times, but heated up in the later stages, **½.
Jay Lethal © vs. Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.)
-Tommaso Ciampa gives up any hope of a time extension by attacking Lethal. He puts Lethal down with Project Ciampa and poses with the Television title belt. The Embassy exit with the title as the crowd goes back to their Daniel Bryan tribute.
ROH Tag Team Championship:
The Young Bucks jump the Briscoes from behind before the opening bell. The Bucks stupidly take some time to pose and eat stereo clotheslines. The Briscoes send Nick Jackson flying over the ropes onto Matt. Nick takes a suplex on the ramp (off camera) while Matt gets dropped on the ring apron. The Briscoes win the ringside brawl. Jay and Matt finally make it to the ring and a standard match falls into place. Matt finds himself isolated until Nick trips Jay. The distraction allows Matt to knock Jay off the apron. The Bucks try to establish control but Mark tags himself in. Both teams block each other’s attempts to cut the ring in half. Mark rolls into a super kick and the Bucks finally establish some control. The Briscoes cut it off fairly quickly and drop Nick into Matt’s groin. Matt eats a spinebuster and a double team neck breaker for 2. Nick drops Mark with a super kick and nails face buster on Jay. Matt props Jay up for a sick 450 splash from Nick. Jay shakes off the punishment (well, no sells) but gets planted again. Mark makes the save but eats another super kick for his troubles. Jay blocks More Bang For Your Buck! The Doomsday Device finishes it at 13:09. Refreshingly straightforward match from the Briscoes. Good action and a good way to put over the Briscoes, ***¼.
The Briscoes © vs. The Young Bucks
Winners and still ROH Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes
-The Briscoes attack Carey Silkin with hugs afterwards. Happy Anniversary.
-Before the Steen,Jacobs match, Steve Corino takes the mic. Corino says this situation has gone on too long. Corino says he got his ass kicked at Final Battle and hasn’t wrestled since. He doesn’t want the same thing to happen to Jimmy Jacobs. The crowd drowns him out with the “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and “Kill Steen Kill” chants. Basically, Corino wants to call the match off. Steen grabs the mic and calls Corino a pussy. Steen rants and raves, allowing Jacobs to cheap shot him. Jacobs removes his fuzzy jacket to reveal his old, bloody Age of the Fall jacket underneath.
The evil incarnation of Jimmy Jacobs takes the fight to Steen at ringside, quickly utilizing a chair. Jacobs seats Steen for a dive. The fight heads to the ring, which just so happens to be covered with chairs. Steen delivers a Codebreaker into a chair. Steen misses a cannonball. Steen catches Jacobs and press slams him into the guard rail. Steen thrashes Jacobs around the ringside area. Steen perches on the barricade but Jacobs tosses him onto the metal ramp. Steen rebounds and rips apart several pieces of guard rail. Steen delivers a pair of power slams onto the steel but Jacobs counters the third attempt with a tornado DDT. Jacobs sets up a table and attempts a suplex. Steen counters but Jacobs saves himself from a power bomb. They spill to the opposite side of the ring and Jacobs takes a power bomb onto the ring frame. Steen delivers a second one but Jacobs blocks the third try. Jacobs spears Steen off the apron into the table! Jacobs sets up a pair of chairs but Steen counters the Contra Code! Jacobs blocks the Senton Bomb! Jacobs unleashes his metal spike but misses a wild swing. Steen plants Jacobs but doesn’t go for the cover. Steen sets two chairs up back to back. Jacobs blocks and stabs Steen in the face with the spike! Jacobs seems remorseful of what he just did and drops the spike. Steen grins and delivers a low blow! Steen plants Jacobs onto the two chairs in a sickening position! Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jacobs broke some ribs on that move. Steen mercifully gets the victory at 14:55. Another wild chapter in the Kevin Steen saga, ***½.
Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs (with Steve Corino)
Winner: Kevin Steen
-The ROH Wrestling television show provides a hype video for the main event! It’s good to be on TV.
Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole vs. ROH World Champion Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly
O’Reilly and Cole are about to start things when Richards tags himself in. Eddie demands a tag and gets one, but Cole tags himself back in. Richards and Cole begins things on a polite note, exchanging holds. Richards shakes off a drop-kick. They sprint through a series of counters, until Richards dodges a super kick. Davey applies a head scissors but Cole escapes and tags in Edwards. O’Reilly gets a tag and goes toe to toe with Edwards. A knuckle lock turns violent with some head butts. They hold on to the knuckle lock and exchange monkey flips. They block submissions and we have a stalemate. That entire sequence was awesome. Richards and Cole tag back in and quicken the pace. Richards and O’Reilly begin making quick tags to keep Cole isolated. Cole drags O’Reilly into the corner and Eddie gets a tag. Davey is back in and exchanges hard shots with Eddie. Edwards and Cole trap Davey in their corner. Richards counters in amazing fashion with a Northern Lights Suplex/O’Connor Roll combo! O’Reilly charges in and overwhelms Edwards. Richards drives Cole into the barricade while O’Reilly nails a back superplex on Edwards. O’Reilly and Edwards trade submissions. O’Reilly wins a strike fest and delivers a Regal-plex. Hard lariat by Eddie! Cole reenters and takes control of O’Reilly, nailing a hard backbreaker. Davey tags himself in and dismantles Cole with a hammerlock/figure four combo. Cole finds himself isolated in hostile territory for an extended beating. Cole tricks Richards into hitting O’Reilly with an enziguri and sets Cole up to DDT Richards. Eddie gets something resembling a hot tag and delivers a double missile drop-kick. Eddie hits the Fishermen Buster on Davey for 2. It’s at this point when the match breaks down with all four men trading dives, hard shots, and would-be finishers. Cole and O’Reilly really tear into each other while Edwards and Richards rekindle their rivalry. Edwards and Richards are also trying to see who can hurt the other’s partner the worst. The highlight is when Eddie and Davey both apply single leg Boston crabs and exchange slaps in the process. Cole and O’Reilly end up crashing off the top into a table. Davey and Eddie trade near falls, but Cole sneaks back in and delivers a flying cross body on Davey for the win at 39:35! Talk about an upset! They got carried away with the spotty MOVES portion of the match, but they managed to get across the story of how personal the rivalry between Richards and Edwards has become. It averages out to a **** match.
Winners: Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole
-Richards grabs a microphone but seems to be at a loss for words. Richards congratulates Cole and extends his hand. He extends the courtesy to Edwards as well, and they share a tense handshake. O’Reilly looks furious and says he doesn’t shake the hands of people he doesn’t respect. Richards is about to admonish O’Reilly when Kevin Steen breaks up the party. Steen is on the balcony and says he doesn’t respect any of them. Steen says he’ll be damned if this show ends with a Davey Richards and Friends bitch-fest. Steen throws out insults and says tonight’s main event should have been him vs. Richards for the title. That didn’t happen because Jim Cornette is scared of him. Steen vows to haunt Richards until he gets his title match. Steen calls Richards a jujitsu jack-off and mocks The Rock by saying it’s trending worldwide. What an eventful post-match segment.
Final Thoughts: This was easily worth the $9.99 price tag. This show had a much better flow than Final Battle and they didn’t completely blow their collective wad before intermission. The Steen storyline continues to be the driving force behind ROH’s momentum and is making every show seem must-see. I was disappointed with Lethal/Ciampa, but otherwise everything here lived up to my expectations and actually seemed to exist in the same universe as the TV show. Thumbs up.
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