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ROH Showdown in the Sun Part 1
March 30, 2012

by SamoaRowe

-From Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are in the ring to welcome us to what’s promised to be a big show.

-We’re treated to a clip from a recent DVD taping where the Australian tag team of Mikey Nichols and Shane Haste cheated to pick up a win that earned them a spot on tonight’s card.

Proving Ground match:
Shane Haste and Mikey Nichols vs. ROH Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe

Jay Briscoe kicks things off against Shane Haste. Things almost immediately spill to ringside, where the Briscoes thrive. Haste is completely overwhelmed as the well oiled Briscoe engine runs him over. Nichols trips Mark, allowing Haste to capitalize with a double stomp to the back. Haste and Nichols isolate Mark for a bit, giving them a chance to showcase their arsenal. Nichols looks like he could be the third Basham brother, and kind of wrestles like it too. Haste shows some athleticism with a leaping hurricanrana off the top rope. Mark lands on his feet on a backdrop and makes the lukewarm tag to Jay. Haste and Nichols surprise the Briscoes with the Kangaroo Express! Mark makes a blind tag and saves Jay with a flying cross body. Mark’s froggy elbow drop only gets 2! Nichols eats the Doomsday Device and gets pinned at 8:16. Good opener and not a bad way to introduce Haste and Nichols. It looks like ROH has another solid team to add to their tag roster depth, **¾.
Winners: Jay and Mark Briscoe

-Kevin Kelly talks about last night’s NWA event, where ROH star Adam Cole came extremely close to defeating NWA World Champion Adam Pearce. That’s nice.

-Jim Cornette introduces the live crowd to NWA World Champion Adam Pearce! It’s worth reminding readers that Pearce was also the previous ROH booker, before getting axed in favor of Cornette and Delirious. Cornette calls Pearce out for using a low blow and illegal Piledriver to defeat Adam Cole. Pearce defends himself, saying that the ROH rules don’t apply to the NWA. Cole interrupts the interview, looking for a chance to speak. Cole says he’s not going to make excuses and acknowledges that Pearce was the better man. Cole says he learned something from the fight, and that is he knows that if he gets one more shot he can win the belt. Pearce accepts the challenge and is ready to wrestle right now. Cornette says he can’t make the match for the title but they can still fight.

NWA World Champion Adam Pearce vs. Adam Cole

Pearce jumps Cole from behind as the bell rings. Cole rebounds with a suicide dive to the floor! Cole follows up with a hard Irish whip into the barricade. Pearce begs for mercy but receives none. Pearce surprises with a nasty choke slam out of nowhere. Pearce drops Cole onto his head in a nasty bump. Cole no-sells the bump and misses a flying cross body. Cole connects with a Shining Wizard for 2! Todd Sinclair has to stop Pearce from using a Piledriver, giving Cole the opening to counter and pin Pearce at 4:32! I smell a rematch! Short match, but accomplished what it needed to, **.
Winner: Adam Cole

-They share a handshake and surprisingly Pearce lifts Cole’s arm without attacking him after.

-Up next will be the first match in the “Dual Duel” between The All Night Express and The Young Bucks. Apparently, they were fighting earlier in the day over a coin toss.

Tornado Tag Team match:
The Young Bucks vs. The All Night Express

Naturally, the rules state that all four men can be in the ring at the same time. The Bucks sneak attack as the bell rings, but the ANX fight them off. The ANX connect with stereo dives! Rhett Titus is still seeking revenge from being put on the shelf by the Bucks back at Final Battle. Unfortunately, Titus finds himself alone in the ring as the Bucks dismantle him. Nick Jackson spots Kenny King on his feet and wipes him out with a dive. The Bucks try to repeat their Final Battle attack on Titus, but King returns to break it up. The Bucks are a well oiled machine and retake control, this time dismantling King. Titus sneaks back in and drops the Bucks with double clotheslines. The ANX mount an impressive comeback, albeit short-lived, as the Bucks drop King with double super kicks. The Bucks nail stereo 450 splashes but both King and Titus kick out! The ANX block More Bang for Your Buck. King is dropped with a super-kick in mid-air. Titus gains a roll-up for the win at 8:35! This was lively and entertaining, a good spot-fest if I’ve ever seen one, ***.
Winners: The All Night Express

-The Bucks are sore losers and attack the previously injured knee of Rhett Titus with a steel chair. This doesn’t bode well for tomorrow night’s Street Fight.

-The Embassy Ltd, consisting of Tommaso Ciampa, Prince Nana, and R.D. Evans storm to the ring. Nana asks the audience for their utmost attention. Nana takes some time to insult the fans and complains that Ciampa isn’t getting the star treatment he deserves. Evans says that they were threatened with legal action if they didn’t return the TV title that they stole from Jay Lethal. Evans feels he could beat the injunction, but they’re sportsman, so they’re more than happy to return the belt… but it just so happens they didn’t bring it with them to Florida. They sent Ernesto Osiris to get the TV title, so Ciampa will have it for Part 2.

ROH Television Championship:
Jay Lethal © vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Lethal doesn’t have physical possession of the TV title right now, so it’ll seem really funny if O’Reilly wins and doesn’t have anything to hold up in victory. It seems that the previous angle with the Embassy almost guarantees that Lethal goes over in this one. Ciampa is lingering at ringside as the match begins. The match begins with some clean chain wrestling. They exchange hard shots and arm drags. Lethal delivers a chain of impact moves and wrenches O’Reilly’s arm back. O’Reilly returns the favor, setting up a tight abdominal stretch. Springboard missile drop-kick by Lethal but his springboard is blocked. They exchange shots on the stage beside the ring, with Lethal taking a back bump onto the hard floor. O’Reilly is in the driver’s seat and applies an octopus stretch. O’Reilly holds on to a guillotine choke, despite being thrust into the turnbuckles. Lethal escapes with the Lethal Combination! O’Reilly blocks the Lethal Injection. O’Reilly delivers a back superplex! Lethal absorbs some hard shots and nails a hard kick. The Lethal Injection finishes O’Reilly at 11:30! Crisp match here. I only wish that Lethal’s back bump on the stage had meant more, as they didn’t really follow up on the spot. Otherwise, this was good stuff, ***.
Winner and still Television Champion: Jay Lethal

-Ciampa and Lethal stare each other down. Lethal wants to fight, but Ciampa just tosses the chair and backs off.

Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman vs. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin

Haas sets the tone by flipping off Coleman and Alexander. That works against them, as Coleman and Alexander take control in the early going. WGTT are overwhelmed as they get dumped to the floor. Benjamin rolls in to avoid a dive. Coleman eats a nasty double attack in the ropes. Coleman seems half dead as he becomes the isolated face in peril. Coleman suffers a back suplex onto the barricade! Coleman springboards into Haas’ arms for a nasty spinebuster. Coleman is doing the best job selling that I’ve seen all night. Coleman surprises with a drop-kick to both Haas and Benjamin. Alexander gets the hot tag (sadly, to no pop) and begins cleaning house on WGTT. Haas inadvertently back drops Alexander over the ropes onto Benjamin. Alexander sets Haas up for a leaping hurricanrana from Coleman. Benjamin breaks up Alexander’s top rope attempt. Exploder suplex off the top by Benjamin gets the victory for WGTT at 10:08. This made WGTT look like a force to be reckoned with. It’s too bad the crowd was so dead, **¼.
Winners: Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin

-As per usual, Mike Bennett earns impressive crowd heat just for making out with Maria in the ring and groping her. This is a winning formula.

“The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. Lance Storm

Storm gets a huge ovation from the live crowd. Bennett offers an insincere handshake, so Storm yanks him in and forces a respectful shake out of him. They exchange holds in the early going. Storm sends Bennett crashing to ringside, prompting The Prodigy to hide behind his girlfriend. Storm continues to outwrestle Bennett in a scientific contest. Bennett scores with a shoulder tackle, but eats a drop-kick. The match spills to ringside, but Bennett nails a neck breaker when Storm attempts to reenter the ring. Bennett finally has the opening he needs but Storm remains competitive. Cue the chinlock! Storm breaks out but the half crab is blocked. Storm wins a slugfest and nails a leg lariat. Storm nails a springboard clothesline for 2. Bennett blocks the super kick and hits a spinebuster. Bennett nails the Box Office Smash but Storm kicks out! Storm nails a desperate super kick for a close 2. Storm kicks out of a spear. Storm delivers the drop toe hold to snap the leg. The dragon screw leg sweep continues to set Bennett up for a half crab. Storm blocks a TKO and applies the half crab! Bennett comes close to tapping but eventually gets the ropes. Storm goes for a superplex, but Maria grabs Bennett’s leg to block the move. Bennett nails the Box Office Smash off the ropes! STORM KICKS OUT! Storm is defiant, but takes the TKO. Bennett finally pins Storm at 16:19. Storm carried Bennett to what is probably his best singles match. This was quite good in the final stretch, ***½.,
Winner: Mike Bennett

-Storm makes it to his feet as the crowd applauds. Bennett rolls back into the ring for a handshake. This time it’s Bennett that yanks Storm in and plants him on his back. BOO THIS MAN!

Last Man Standing match:
Kevin Steen vs. El Generico

During his entrance, Steen takes a moment to rip up a sign that has Jim Cornette’s face on it. Generico interrupts the ring introductions with a yakuza kick! Generico scores with a dive to the floor and it’s on! They brawl around ringside, with Steen choking with the Canadian flag. Generico tosses chairs into the ring and attacks Steen with the back-up ring ropes. Generico loses control pummeling Steen into the corner. Generico springboards into a Steen ace crusher. Steen delivers some hard chair shots and licks the chair in sickening fashion. They block chair shots but Steen drives the chair into Generico’s skull. Steen counters a tornado DDT with a backbreaker! Steen places a chair on Generico for a running cannonball! Steen trips Generico and power bombs him onto the ring apron! Steen misses a super kick, hitting a ringside attendant. Yakuza kick by Generico and a second one against the stage. Michinoku Driver by Generico onto the stage! Steen rolls off the stage to make it back to his feet. Running senton off the stage by Generico! Generico tight-rope walks on the barricade to deliver a tornado DDT! Generico sets Steen up on a table up at ringside but Steen reverses. Steen dives over the ropes, putting Generico through the table! Steen sets some chairs up in the ring, but Generico reverses, suplexing Steen onto them in sickening fashion. Generico goes for a Brainbuster on the chair, but Steen counters! Steen climbs the ropes but Generico uses all his remaining energy to nail a running Yakuza kick, knocking Steen onto the timekeeper’s table! Things get dirty with the exchange of spit and middle fingers. They trade suplexes and block finishers. Finally, Generico connects with the Brainbuster. They sword fight with the chairs until Steen breaks it up with a low blow. Steen winds up for a chair shot, but Jimmy Jacobs rolls in to reason with him. Generico nails a suplex and Jacobs hands him a chair. Generico gets ready to win but Jacobs pulls out the metal spike and STABS GENERICO! That bastard! Steen is more than happy to sit back and watch Jacobs crack the chair over Generico’s head. Generico is unable to stand and Steen wins at 23:56. This was a wild and creative brawl. They overdid it a bit with the needless violence mixed with no-selling in the later portions, but overall was a great match, ****.
Winner: Kevin Steen

-Kevin Kelly is terrified over what a Steen/Jacobs alliance could mean to the future of Ring of Honor.

ROH World Championship:
Davey Richards © vs. Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini) vs. Eddie Edwards

Strong starts by hitting quick shots on both opponents. Strong rolls out, leaving Richards and Edwards to rekindle their rivalry. It doesn’t take long for them to start unloading the stiff shots usually reserved for later in the game. Strong just hangs out a bit at ringside, watching his opponents wear themselves out in a fast paced contest. Roderick runs in to break a submission hold and take some convenient shots. Strong enjoys a stretch in the driver’s seat, until Eddie and Davey start hitting back. Richards suplexes Strong while putting Edwards in a pinning predicament. All three men are down after a chaotic sequence. Davey and Eddie get a chance to exchange nasty shots. Strong joins them for a triple slugfest. Strong ducks, forcing his opponents to kick each other by accident. Strong dishes out a backbreaker and power slam on his respective foes. Edwards comes out on top of a finisher sequence, nailing a backpack chin breaker on Roderick. Strong dumps Edwards, but Richards rolls through a gut buster for an ankle lock! Davey transitions into a trailer hitch, holding on to the move despite kicks from Edwards. Davey catches Edwards in an ankle lock, while still hitching Strong! They get back up, with Strong dropping Edwards on the apron, but then immediately suffering a missile tope from Richards. Springboard moonsault onto both opponents by Edwards! Strong and Edwards duke it out alone in the ring for a bit. Richards sneaks in to deliver a superplex and armbar on Eddie. Strong breaks it up with the Strong Hold! Chops are traded, as are stiff kicks. Strong has both men perched on turnbuckles, but chooses to superplex Edwards. Eddie blocks, allowing Davey to nail the double stomp. Davey bridges a suplex and Eddie double stomps him as well. Edwards nails a backhand chop for 2. Edwards nails a nice power bomb/backbreaker combo. Eddie has to knock Martini off the ropes, leaving him easy pickings for a roll-up at 17:54. Edwards is eliminated! It wasn’t made clear to me that this was an elimination match. Richards and Strong desperately throw everything they’ve got at each other. Richards loses his temper and delivers a running kick to Martini at ringside. Richards hits a pair of double stomps on Strong for only 2. Strong kicks out of a Gibson Driver! A spinning back heel kick finally puts Strong down at 20:58. I daresay these three men set out to remind us why they’re on top and they mostly succeeded. I would like to see them do something new though, ****.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Davey Richards

-Michael Elgin runs in and attacks Davey Richards! Martini tells Richards that if you stand for nothing, you fall for everything. Martini predicts that Elgin will defeat Richards to become the new ROH World Champion. Strong looks a little miffed at this development.

Final Thoughts: GFL is a mess of a website, so this was a bit of a chore to sit through from a production values standpoint. The show itself was fantastic. It wasn’t too long, it moved storylines along in a satisfying manner, and we were treated to a lot of very good in-ring action. Easy thumbs up for Showdown in the Sun Part 1, but a big thumbs down to GFL.

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