Manhattan Center – New York City, NY – Saturday, February 13, 2010
MATCH #1: Brian Kendrick vs. Roderick Strong
Kendrick’s music is great. He gets a nice ovation and a “welcome back” chant. Strong gets quite the ovation himself. Interesting to note is that this is the first match in ROH where Kendrick has been billed as “Brian Kendrick” rather than “Spanky.” They take it to the mat right away, attacking each other’s arms. Kendrick switches gears and goes after the leg. Strong doesn’t appreciate that so he starts throwing chops. Kendrick tries to cover up in the corner and gets stomped. Strong hits a backbreaker for a two-count. He continues working the back, hitting a vertical suplex for two. He hits a fallaway slam and Kendrick rolls to the floor. Kendrick tries to escape but Strong catches up with him, only to get caught with a drop toehold into the barricade. Now Kendrick is in control, so he slides back in the ring to regroup. Back in the ring Kendrick nails a dropkick for two and then locks on a Camel Clutch. Strong fights out of the Camel Clutch but Kendrick cuts him off with a neckbreaker for two. Kendrick hits a kick to the back of the head and chokes Strong against the middle rope. He goes to the second rope and Strong chops him all the way to the floor! Strong hits a leaping lariat off the apron and whips Kendrick into the barricades. He hits another chop and rolls Kendrick back in the ring. Kendrick hits a dropkick, and Strong comes back with one of his own for two. Strong hits a leg-capture backbreaker for two. He sets Kendrick up for a superplex but Kendrick fights him off and hits a side kick for two. Kendrick goes for Sliced Bread No. 2 but Strong counters it. Strong tries the gutbuster but Kendrick reverses to a crucifix for two. Kendrick hits a tornado DDT and then a beautiful Frog Splash for a two-count. He goes for Sliced Bread No. 2 again but Strong blocks it and hits the torture rack breaker. Strong hits a running boot to the face and then the Gibson Driver to get the pin at 10:25. I know he was miserable in WWE, but Kendrick has really become an excellent all-around worker since working there. This was an excellent choice to open the show.
MATCH #2: Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) vs. The Bravado Brothers
The Bravado Brothers actually get promo time, and they make a game effort. They promise to make an impact tonight. Apparently the brothers Lance and Harlem are from the ROH Wrestling Academy. The Kings of Wrestling are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. Hero and Castagnoli attack right away, tossing one of the Bravados to the floor and throwing the other one around inside the ring. Lance gets back on the ring apron and makes the tag, but the Kings shrug him off and do what they want. Del Rey gets her shots in on the floor, as Lance is just getting dominated. Castagnoli gets the tag and hits a European Uppercut for two. He tags Hero right back in. Hero hits a flying elbow in the corner, but Lance avoids the next one and hits a dropkick. Harlem gets the lukewarm tag and he takes both Kings down. He hits Hero with a split-legged moonsault, but Castagnoli dead lifts him off and suplexes him. The Kings hit the double boot to the face on Lance. Hero then throws Lance into a European Uppercut by Castagnoli. The Kings hit the KRS-One to get the win at 5:22. That was pretty squashy but the Kings of Wrestling are good enough to make it entertaining.
MATCH #3: No Rules Match – Necro Butcher & Eddie Kingston w/ Gypsy Joe vs. Erick Stevens & Joey Ryan w/ Prince Nana
Earlier tonight in the hotel room, the Embassy was getting ready for their match and talking trash to Necro Butcher and Eddie Kingston. Stevens and Ryan are also accompanied by Ernesto Osiris. The fight begins on the floor, with Kingston battling Ryan and Stevens battling the Butcher. The Kingston / Butcher tandem dominates the Embassy early on, but somehow Butcher is bleeding. I think Ryan is bleeding as well. Watching Gypsy Joe punch Osiris is pretty embarrassing. Kingston and Ryan wind up back in the ring. Ryan hits a powerslam for a two-count. Now Stevens and Butcher get in the ring. Stevens takes forever to set up the Choo-Choo, so Butcher punches him in the face. Bucher then executes his own version of Mr. Socko. Ryan breaks that up with a superkick, and then Kingston hits Ryan with a back fist, and then Stevens hits Kingston with a lariat. Stevens and Kingston get up first and exchange strikes. Kingston hits a Back Drop Driver. Ryan grabs Kingston with a spinning swinging neckbreaker. He knocks Kingston to the floor and then goes back in the ring to attack Butcher with his belt. He wraps his belt around Butcher’s beck, but Kingston breaks it up. Stevens and Kingston battle on the ring apron, and Stevens powerbombs Kingston on the table! The table doesn’t even break properly. Gypsy Joe distracts Ryan, allowing Butcher to put a plastic bag over his head. Ryan is done at 8:05. That was the usual Necro Butcher hardcore stuff.
MATCH #4: El Generico vs. Davey Richards w/ Shane Hagadorn
Generico is accompanied by Colt Cabana. Richards backs Generico into a corner and issues a somewhat clean break. They take it to the mat, trading holds. Richards gets Generico in a position for forearms to the back of the head, which for some reason the referee breaks. Then Richards yells out “American Wolves,” and I’m going to be keeping track of how many times he hells that out. Richards goes for the arm and locks on a cross armbreaker. Generico reaches the ropes and then takes a powder. Back in the ring Generico seems energized, as he hits a series of quick armdrags. Generico hits a side kick for a two-count. He goes up to the second rope and Richards pulls him into a modified Alarm Clock. Just over five minutes into the math I hear Richards shout “American Wolves” for the second time. Richards wastes time by jawing with the crowd and Generico tries to make a comeback. Generico hits a bodyslam and they take it to the apron. Richards yanks Generico down by the shoulder, right into the edge of the apron. He throws Generico into the barricade and then kicks him into the crowd. Back in the ring Richards viciously attacks the arm and shoulder. Generico fights back with clotheslines out of nowhere and a back body drop. He dumps Richards to the floor and follows him out with a nice Hilo. Back in the ring Generico hits a high cross body off the top rope for two. Generico hits a nasty Michinoku Driver for two. He goes for the running Yakuza but Richards kicks him first. Richards then pulls Generico out of the air with a Fujiwara Armbar, and then blocks a brainbuster with another Fujiwara. Generico reaches the ropes. He recovers and goes for the running Yakuza again but Richards catches him and suplexes him into the turnbuckle. Richards hits a big lariat for two. He spits on Generico and gets slapped in the face. He hits a series of Kawada Kicks and gets slapped by Generico again. He tries the Alarm Clock but Generico reverses it to a Dragon Screw and finally hits the running Yakuza. Generico hits a half-nelson suplex and goes for a brainbuster but Richards reverses it to one of his own and both men are down. Richards gets up first and sets up for the Shooting Star Press. Generico pops up and tries the Super Brainbuster but Richards goes after the arm to knock him down. Richards tries the Shooting Star Press but Generico moves out of the way and hits another Yakuza Kick. Generico once again goes for the Brainbuster but Richards slips out and goes for a super German Suplex. Unfortunately for Richards, Generico slips out of that and hits the Coast-to-Coast dropkick for two! Generico goes up for the Super Brainbuster again, and Richards slips out. This time Richards hits the Super German Suplex. Richards hits another German Suplex with a bridge for a two-count. He drills Generico with a kick to the head for two, and then locks on the Kimura. Generico rolls Richards up for a quick two-count, so Richards switches over to the cross armbreaker and Generico has to tap out at 21:13. They kept the no-selling to a minimum and this was an overall pretty fun match to watch. Richards goes for a handshake after the match, and gets slapped in the face instead.
MATCH #5: World Tag Team Title Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Dark City Fight Club
The Briscoes have been the champions since 12.19.09, and this is their second defense. They cut their usual promo backstage. The way they talk over each other is truly Altman-esque. Tempers flare before the opening bell even rings. Jon Davis and big brother Jay start the match. Jay takes the first advantage and backs Davis into his corner. Mark gets tagged in and blasts Davis with chops. Davis comes back with a back elbow and then makes the tag. Kory Chavis and Mark exchange strikes. Mark hits the kick to the back of the head and then tags his brother back in. Jay hits a dropkick for two. Chavis comes back with a sit-out powerslam for two. Davis gets tagged back in and he slugs away. Jay comes back with a boot to the face and tags his younger brother. Davis drills Mark with a spinebuster but doesn’t go for a cover. Chavis is back in now and he orchestrates the beating of Mark Briscoe. Jay comes in the ring illegally to knock Chavis to the floor as Mark hits a superkick on Davis. He then clotheslines Davis to the floor, while Mark hits Chavis with a somersault senton to the floor. Davis Pounces Mark into the barricade, as Dombrowski points out that the referee is basically ignoring the 20-count. Back in the ring Davis nails Jay with a powerslam, and then the DCFC hit Total Elimination for another two-count. They continue the double-teaming until Mark makes it back in the ring to break it up. Davis shoves Mark back to the floor. Jay has recovered and is now trading forearms with Davis. Out of nowhere they hit the Spiked Jay Driller to get the pin at 9:58. I was looking forward to that match but something definitely seemed off there. It just seemed like a lot of punching and kicking and then a finish out of nowhere. Maybe if they built a feud and got some bad blood going maybe it would have been more exciting.
Sara Del Rey comes out to distract the champions and the Kings of Wrestling come out for a big brawl. The locker room empties to try and split it up, but we wind up with a three-way brawl amongst the Briscoes, Kings, and the returned Dark City Fight Club. The Briscoes knock everyone to the floor and hit a simultaneous Hilo. Mark tosses Del Rey back in the ring and she’s all by herself. The Kings save her from taking the Doomsday Device.
MATCH #6: Four Corner Survival Pick 6 Series Match – Delirious vs. (4) Kenny King vs. Steve Corino vs. Rasche Brown
This is Corino’s first ROH match since the unfortunate Fight without Honor against Homicide back at The Bitter End on November 4, 20006. Delirious is accompanied by Daizee Haze. Corino pretty closely resembles JBL physically. Delirious freaks out at the bell and concentrates on catching Corino. That leaves King and Brown to start the match. They trade holds and counters, and Brown uses his size advantage to knock King down with a shoulderblock. Brown then executes a handspring splash, which is quite impressive. King rolls to the floor and Corino knees Brown out as well. Delirious comes in the ring with a clothesline off the top rope but misses the Panic Attack. King gets back in the ring to battle the masked man, and Corino joins him, creating an impromptu team. They keep Brown on the floor and work Delirious over. This seems to go on for a while. Finally the Skullcrusher makes his way back in the ring and he takes on both Corino and King. Delirious tries to subdue the big man with a sleeper but he continues punching everything in sight. Corino and King try regrouping on the floor but Delirious dives out after them. Brown follows out with a dive of his own. Corino finally ends the alliance between himself and King by hitting a Flatliner on King for a two-count. King sets up for the double knees but Brown cuts him off with a spear. Corino hits Brown with a clothesline. Delirious hits King with the Shadows over Hell for the quick three-count at 9:09. Now Delirious is number four in the Pick 6, while King falls to number five, and Roderick Strong falls off the list. As for the match, it was pretty awkward and sloppy, but I like Delirious going over.
MATCH #7: Kevin Steen vs. Colt Cabana
Cabana cuts a promo before the match, summarizing the open letter Kevin Steen wrote to him on ROHWrestling.com. Apparently Steen hates Cabana for the way he treated him in the past. Cabana tries to apologize, and Steen says he accepts it, but then sucker punches Cabana instead. Good! Cabana fires back so Steen runs to the floor but Cabana follows him out. Back in the ring they continue trading shots. Steen knocks Cabana down with a back elbow. He works Cabana over methodically. They trade gum back and forth, which is just silly and kind of takes away from the match. Cabana makes a brief comeback but misses the Flying Apple and Steen hits the Cannonball. Steen tries the Swanton but Cabana got his knees up. Cabana unloads with right hands. This time Cabana hits the Flying Apple and clotheslines Steen to the floor. Steen is holding his injured knee as the referee starts counting him out. Cabana gets on the microphone and says he doesn’t believe his knee is hurt. Steve Corino comes out and orders Steen to get back in the ring. Cabana punches Corino and tosses him to the floor. He gets back on the mic and tells Steen to stop being a bitch and start being a man. Corino slides a chair in the ring. Generico comes out to go face-to-face with his former tag team partner, but before anything can happen Corino tosses Cabana to the floor for the DQ at 9:13.Corino tries to hit Generico with a chair but Generico grabs it from him. Steen steps in front of Corino and Generico won’t hit Steen. Unfortunately for Generico, Steen doesn’t feel the same way, so he knocks Generico down and hits him with the chair. He locks on a Crossface and Cabana comes in to chase them off. The match started off pretty good but it turned into pure angle advancement, which in this case was the right move. The acting is a little cheesy but it’s the kind of storyline that lends itself to a lot of different matches and different places to go and it’s much more interesting than the average wrestling storyline. They’re also not revealing everything right away or giving everything away, so this was really well done.
MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black
Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09 and this is his fourteenth defense. This is Black’s ninth crack at the gold. And if my calculations are correct, this is the eleventh time these two men have met in a singles, three-way, or four-way match; Aries leads the series 7-2-1. First we introduce the judges: Kenny King (picked by Austin Aries), Roderick Strong (picked by Tyler Black), and Jim Cornette (picked by Jim Cornette). Tonight’s New York crowd seems a lot more supportive of Black than the Final Battle 2009 crowd. Austin Aries has his supporters tonight as well. Before the match, Aries gets on the microphone to defend the debacle of a main event back at Final Battle 2009. Of course Jim Cornette has to get his two cents in.
Aries sucker punches Black to start and goes to work on him. Black reverses a whip and back body drops the champ. He goes for the F-5 but Aries slips out and rakes the back, so Black punches him to the floor. Aries seems to be stalling so Strong forces him back in the ring. Black hits a dropkick and then a series of punches for a one-count. He hits the springboard lariat for a one-count and Aries rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Aries takes a timeout. Black continues to keep the momentum, thwarting Aries’ comeback attempts. Finally Aries comes back by snapping Black’s neck off the top rope, and then hitting a slingshot splash. Aries misses an elbow and Black follows up with a slingshot heel kick. Black hits the stomp to the face. Everything Aries tries, Black has a counter for. Black uses an O’Connor Roll and Aries kicks Black’s shoulder into the ring post. Now the champion dominates, working on the neck. The champ goes to the top rope and Black dropkicks him in the face. Black hits a beautiful superplex, and floats it over into an F-5, which looked really cool. Aries kicks out at two. Aries seeks solace on the apron but Black knocks him back into the crowd. Black leaps off the top rope and wipes Aries out. Back in the ring Black looks to be going for a Buckle Bomb and Aries backdrops him to the apron. Aries then hits a Death Valley Driver on the ring frame. He goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Black moves and Aries crashes into the barricade. Back in the ring Black gets a two-count. Black goes for the Buckle Bomb again but Aries blocks it, so instead he hits a Rubik’s Cube for two. He goes up for the Phoenix Splash and Aries moves out of the way. Aries hits the IED and two rolling Brainbusters for a two-count! He goes up for the 450 but hits nothing but knees, and Black gets a cradle for two. Back on their feet they exchange strikes. Aries goes for another Brainbuster but Black reverses to God’s Last Gift but it only gets two! Black goes for the Phoenix Splash once again and King gets on the apron. Strong knocks King off the apron but also knocks Black off the top rope. Black superkicks Strong off the apron, and when Cornette jumps up to yell at him, Black superkicks him too! The crowd is hot and Black is fired up. Black hits a Superkick, the Buckle Bomb, and two more superkicks. He goes up top and hits one of the prettiest Phoenix Splashes I’ve ever seen in my life to get the pin and finally win the ROH World Title at 22:23. The babyface locker room empties as the Briscoes put Black on their shoulders to celebrate his win. That was a tremendous match and the finishing sequence was pretty perfect, literally taking the judges out of the match and giving Black the super clean win. Hopefully they have some good storyline ideas for his title reign because Tyler Black definitely deserves it.
Tags: Anniversary Show, Austin Aries, Kevin Steen, Ring of Honor, Tyler Black