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ROH: Only the Strong Survive
Jan 15, 2011
-From Charlotte, NC. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak.
Harlem and Lancelot Bravado vs. Future Shock (Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly)
They waste no time throwing hard strikes. Cole and O’Reilly connect with flying moves to the floor, creating a hot start. Suplex/cross body combo by Future Shock. Atomic drop/super kick combo keeps their momentum going. The Bravados manage to isolate Cole, more out of luck than anything else. Cole takes a beating but rolls into a hot tag. O’Reilly lights up the Bravados with his stiff offense. The Rolling Butterfly suplex spot is always fun to see. A super kick/clothesline combo by Future Shock almost ends it. O’Reilly suffers a rolling German suplex! Cole and a Bravado slug it out (the commentators can’t tell them apart, why should I?). Cole misses a dive over the ropes, leaving O’Reilly to get pinned when a Bravado pulls the tights. The Bravados win at 7:49. This was a decent opener that showcased some neat tricks, **½.
Winners: Harlem and Lancelot Bravado
-Rhett Titus cuts a promo before his match, as the fans chant “hepatitis” at him. Titus promises to give wholesome competitor, Caprice Coleman, a wholesome ass-kicking. Coleman responds on the mic, saying that a lot of people from North Carolina have made it to the top. He defends his Christian lifestyle and calls Titus a jerk.
Rhett Titus vs. Caprice Coleman
As per usual, Titus gropes his balls before offering a handshake. They trade holds on the mat. Titus sticks his junk in Coleman’s face in a cover. Coleman slaps the face and delivers a running drop-kick. Coleman attempts a springboard moonsault to the floor but it’s countered. Springboard drop-kick by Caprice gets 2. Titus builds some steam with an overhead suplex. They trade counters and Coleman connects with a slam. Flying knee drop by Titus looks painful. They trade kicks and Caprice nails a leaping leg drop. Springboard cross body by Coleman and a series of Northern Lights suplexes. Leaping head scissors takedown by Coleman gets a 2 count. Titus viciously attacks the head and gains the pinfall at 9:00. This was an enjoyable back and forth exhibition match, **½.
Winner: Rhett Titus
-Coleman gets the “Please come back” treatment from the fans.
-Earlier today, Colt Cabana visits Grizzly Redwood. They’re facing each other tonight and Cabana wants their match to be fair and fun.
Grizzly Redwood vs. Colt Cabana
Cabana immediately starts making fun of Redwood’s height as the bell rings. Cabana offers Grizzly a wristlock. It’s pretty clear that Colt is toying with Grizzly as he reverses a hammerlock. Colt offers another free move, this time Redwood surprises with an abdominal stretch and pinning predicament. They do some Three Stooges-type shtick and trade slaps. Grizzly log rolls around the ring, tripping the ref in the process. Cue the ironic “This is awesome” chant. Cabana amuses himself as he takes control. Redwood mounts a comeback, delivering a head scissors into the turnbuckles. Grizzly runs into Cabana’s butt and rebounds with a tornado DDT. Cabana counters with a power bomb and finishes it with the Billy Goat’s Curse at 7:21. This was a fun comedy match, **.
Winner: Colt Cabana
-The Bravados are cleaning up in the bathroom and ask the fans if they enjoyed their match. The Bravados Bandwagon is in full force.
Mike Bennett vs. Cedric Alexander
Bennett disrespectfully palms the face to set the tone. Alexander turns his back allowing an a Bennett ambush. Alexander absorbs a hard whip and rebounds with a flurry of offense. Alexander nails a dive over the ropes. Flying knee to the face by Cedric gets a 2 count. Bennett rebounds with a spinebuster. Bennett takes control, delivering a series of high impact offense. Alexander hits an enziguri but Bennett strikes back with a running Buckle Bomb. Alexander wipes himself out in the corner and Bennett picks up the win with an armbar at 4:21. This was a nice squash that covered up Bennett‘s shortcomings, *½.
Winner: Mike Bennett
ROH Television Championship:
Christopher Daniels © vs. Claudio Castagnoli (with Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey)
They set the tone with an unfriendly handshake. They trade holds and Claudio finds time to pose. Daniels is relentless in his arm work, but Claudio hits a clothesline with his good arm. Daniels applies a head scissors in the ropes. Daniels sends Castagnoli to the floor with a flying head scissors. Claudio counters a second head scissors and swings him into the barricade (like what he did to Miz recently on Raw). Castagnoli remembers to sell his hurt arm as he wears Daniels down. Daniels takes a beating but counters with a swinging DDT. Flurry of offense by Daniels, including the TKO. Castagnoli blocks a sunset flip and delivers an overhead suplex. Claudio shows off with the UFO for a near fall. They trade shots and Daniels counters a springboard with the Koji Clutch. Hagadorn prevents the referee from seeing Claudio tap out. Daniels shoves Claudio into Hagadorn, but eats a pop-up European uppercut. Mike Bennett runs in and hands the TV title to Castagnoli. Daniels overcomes the interference but slips on the Best Moonsault Ever. Bicycle kick by Claudio only gets 2. Daniels pops up and nails Angels Wings for 2. Daniels connects with a much more crisp BME and gains the pinfall at 21:21. They threw the match psychology out the window for the final stretch, but still put on a great show, ***¾.
Winner and still Television Champion: Christopher Daniels
-The Bravados are signing autographs in the bathroom. Some kids are really impressed with them. A fat guy comes out the stall and shakes hands with them before washing up. Gross, eh?
Andy Ridge vs. Steve Corino
Corino cuts a promo beforehand, despite a sore throat. He explains that he’s trying to repent for the crimes he’s committed over the past 17 years. He brings out a young tag team called Alabama Attitude. Corino thinks these young guys are really good in the ring but they have bad attitudes. We get a tag team match instead.
Steve Corino and Andy Ridge vs. Alabama Attitude (Cory Hollis and Mike Posey)
Corino schools Alabama Attitude in the early going and demonstrates some good teamwork with Ridge. Corino resists using the Thumb in the Bum but it costs him the advantage against Hollis. Posey pulls Corino to the floor but his Irish whip is reversed. Hollis dumps Corino again and this time Posey successfully whips him into the barricade. Alabama Attitude isolate Corino for a beat down. Corino rebounds with a DDT combo on both opponents. Hot tag to Ridge, who unleashes a flurry of offense. Corino takes a super kick/neck breaker combo but Ridge prevents a double leg sweep. Ridge finishes Hollis with a super kick at 6:01. Enjoyable squash that advanced Corino’s crusade, *½.
Winners: Steve Corino and Andy Ridge
Chris Hero (with Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey) vs. Davey Richards
They pace themselves in the early going and repeatedly wrestle to a stalemate. Del Rey gets involved and Richards pulls her onto the apron. The distraction allows an ambush by Hero, who takes control briefly. Davey reverses the momentum and dumps Hero for a running kick on the apron. They brawl on the floor and Hero leaps over the barricade. Hagadorn distracts Davey, allowing Hero to nail a big boot to the back of the head. Hero takes control, primarily targeting Davey’s head. Richards desperately throws hard kicks but Hero continues to attack the head. They exchange chops and Davey nails an enziguri. Hero dumps Richards over the ropes but misses a dive. Davey capitalizes with a suicide dive! Armbar off the turnbuckles by Richards, Hero escapes, but Davey counters back into the hold. KO punch by Hero gets 2. Springboard moonsault by Hero gets another near fall. They exchange blows and Hero nails a roaring elbow. Hero’s moonsault misses but he nails a power slam to try again. German superplex by Davey! Belly to back suplex by Davey only gets 2. Flurry of head shots by Richards still isn’t enough for the win. Another KO punch by Hero. Richards applies a cross arm breaker. They exchange rapid fire kicks and chops in the corner. A pair of rolling shots from Hero, but Davey explodes with a clothesline. Spinning big boot by Hero only gets 2. Leaping piledriver by Hero only gets another near fall. Del Rey tosses a loaded elbow pad to Hero but Richards counters with a backslide. The ref removes the loaded pad. Missile drop-kick by Richards, running boot to Hagadorn, and the Shooting Star Press ONLY GETS 2! Hero finally taps to the cross arm breaker at 28:56. They put on a great match for the sake of having a great match (and boost DVD sales) and that finishing sequence was awesome stuff, ****¼.
Winner: Davey Richards
Kenny King vs. Mark Briscoe vs. Homicide vs. El Generico
King squares off with Mark in the early going. It doesn’t take long for Mark to bust out some Redneck Kung Fu. Homicide and Generico tag in and go through the motions. Homicide loses his temper and attacks the guard rail. Homicide slaps Mark’s chest to tag him back in. Mark and Generico show some signs of team work. Homicide catches Generico with a tope and takes control. King and Homicide make tags to wear Generico down, but it doesn’t take long for Homicide to attack King as well. Even Mark takes a turn beating up Generico, who comes back with a suplex into the turnbuckles. Generico finds his second wind and plants King with a tornado DDT. Michinoku Driver on Homicide gets 2. Yakuza Kick on Homicide and a dive onto King by Generico. Mark botches a top rope sunset flip but recovers with a Buckle Bomb. Mark plants Homicide with the Fisherman Buster. Homicide bounces back with the Ace Crusher. King springboards into a Block Buster, but Mark breaks the cover. The match breaks down and all four men go down. Homicide wins a slugfest with King and delivers running kicks to the others. Generico makes a blind tag and suplexes King. Mark hits a frog splash on Generico, but he’s not legally in the match. King nails a German Suplex but Generico catches him with the Brainbuster for the win at 14:57! Fun spot-fest exhibition to get these guys on the show, also gives Generico some momentum heading into a World title shot, ***.
Winner: El Generico
-Homicide is a poor sport and plants Generico with the Cop Killer.
ROH World Championship:
Roderick Strong © vs. Jay Briscoe
They kick things off with a shoving contest and transition into some mat work. They exchange arm holds and taunts. Jay explodes with a flurry of offense. They trade shots until Strong gets knocked down. Jay snap mares into a drop-kick for the first cover of the match. They brawl to the floor. Jay gets repeatedly driven into the steel barricade and is busted open. Strong stays on offense and wipes Jay’s blood over his body like it was war paint. Delayed vertical suplex by Roderick is more devastating than usual. Piledriver by Strong, who wipes Jay’s face against the canvas. Jay shows signs of life but gets caught in a triangle choke. Roderick continues to target the head but Jay explodes with a Death Valley Driver. Jay finds his second wind and overwhelms with some quick attacks. Falcon Arrow by Jay gets a near fall. Roderick retaliates with more head shots. Enziguri by Roderick and the gut-buster for 2. Strong is covered in Jay’s blood, which is kind of nauseating. Strong applies the Labell Lock and scrapes the forehead. Gibson Driver by Roderick and the Strong Hold! Jay comes back with the J-Driller through the timekeeper’s table! They struggle back to the ring and exchange chops. They trade counters and Jay nearly steals it. A second J-Driller but Strong gets the ropes! Roderick delivers a backbreaker onto the turnbuckles! Torture rack backbreaker and sick kick by Strong but Jay kicks out! Another backbreaker and the Gibson Driver finishes Jay at 25:02. I love a title defense with a foregone conclusion that can build some doubt like this one did. This was a crazy hard-hitting brawl, ****¼.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Roderick Strong
Final Thoughts: This is a dark horse event that flew under the radar of even the ROH fan base. A solid show top to bottom and a pair of ****+ matches make this one an easy recommendation. Thumbs up!
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