First up is a brief highlight video for Chris Hero versus Bryan Danielson, tonightâ€™s main event.
Next, Jay and Mark Briscoe say they were impressed with the Young Bucks last time. They also threaten the Dark City Fight Club and the American Wolves.
MATCH #1: Eddie Edwards vs. Brent Albright
Lenny Leonard is gone from the commentary booth, being replaced by Chris Hero. This is the first DVD to be produced by ROH in-house, and there are a few changes. The name placards now show weight and hometown, and they show the Code of Honor on screen, but the font is basically unreadable. They lock up to start and take it to the mat. They actually do the Indy Standoff spot, which was played like five years ago. Albright gets the advantage with a back body drop and a cross body off the top rope for two. Edwards comes back moments later with a kind of chinbreaker and then sends Albright to the floor. He follows Albright out and goes to work on him. Back in the ring Edwards locks on a modified Camel Clutch. Edwards continues working Albright over with some basic offense. Albright comes back with a uranage slam and both men are down. They get back up and Albright stays one step ahead. Albright hits a DDT for two. He goes for the Half-Nelson Suplex but Edwards avoids it, so Albright hits a spinebuster instead for another near-fall. They get back up and Edwards avoids a charge in the corner and hits a kick and a top-rope Frankensteiner. Edwards hits a knee to the back of the head for two. Albright comes back with an exploder that sends Edwards over the top rope to the floor. He follows with a suicide dive through the ropes, wiping out both Edwards and Hagadorn. Back in the ring Albright goes for the Half-Nelson Suplex again but Edwards avoids it and hits another kick. Edwards follows up with the backpack chinbreaker for two, and then rolls into a half Boston Crab. Albright reverses to a Crowbar but Edwards avoids it, only to get hit with the Half Nelson Suplex. Edwards kicks out at two, and then Albright locks on the Crowbar. Hagadorn distracts the referee, so Davey Richards interferes and they hit the Superkick / German Suplex combination and Edwards gets the pin at 14:43. The match was just average back and forth stuff until the finish, and Iâ€™d love to hear the explanation for protecting the dead weight that is known as Brent Albright.
Earlier today the Dark City Fight Club were hanging out outside by the equipment trucks. Kory Chavis says that maybe theyâ€™ve been too soft, and Jon Davis agrees.
MATCH #2: The House of Truth vs. The Dark City Fight Club
No ring introductions for this one, as we jump right into the action. House of Truth is making just their second appearance on the ROH main show. Dark City Fight Club dominates right away and sends Josh Raymond and Christin Able to the floor. Back in the ring Able gets tossed around by Davis, and Raymond tries to enter the ring illegally and he gets the same treatment. Truth Martini thinks about interfering but thinks better of it. Raymond and Chavis get in the ring now, and Chavis uses his power to continue the domination. Davis and Able get tags from their respective partners, but HOT still canâ€™t get anything going. Chavis comes back in and Martiniâ€™s interference pays off this time and Able slugs away at a downed Chavis. Oddly the interference takes place right in front of Senior Referee Todd Sinclair, who does nothing about it. Hero, who earlier said that not much is known about the HOT, knows that Raymond has an amateur wrestling background, and that Martini used to be a wrestler himself. Chavis is getting worn down in the HOT half of the ring. Raymond hits a beautiful quebrada for two. They continue to double team, and Raymond goes for a sky twister press but Chavis gets the knees up. Chavis makes the hot tag and Davis is a house afire. Davis uses the Pounce, which just makes me miss Monty Brown. DCFC hit the Greater Good on Raymond but he kicks out at two. Able comes in and nails Chavis with a Death Valley Driver. The match breaks down to a brawl and Raymond hits an assisted Asai DDT. Raymond goes up top and hits the shooting star cross body for a two-count. I love that move. Once again Raymond goes up top but this time he gets caught in the Project Mayhem and Chavis gets the pin at 12:02. It seemed backwards to have Dark City Fight Club play the babyfaces and House of Truth playing the heels. Overall they made it work but I think it would have been better in reverse.
We go backstage to Claudio Castagnoli. He was supposed to go one-on-one with Tyler Black in a first time matchup tonight, but Black pulled out due to injury. Castagnoli proceeds to cut an awesomely douche promo about how great he is, and then he challenges Richards to put his guaranteed ROH World Title shot on the line in tonightâ€™s match.
MATCH #3: Jimmy Rave vs. Grizzly Redwood
Grizzlyâ€™s placard says 235 lbs., and ring announcer Bobby Cruise announces him as 275 lbs., both claims I find dubious! Rave gets showered with toilet paper. Nana gets on the house mic and tells Necro Butcher that he better be ready for the dog collar match against Rave tomorrow night in Chicago. Redwood tries to go on offense, but Rave immediately biels him over the top rope to the floor. Rave follows him out and whips him into the barricade. He tosses Redwood back in the ring and hits a spear for a two-count. Itâ€™s all Jimmy Rave, as you might expect. He hits a big knee to the gut. Redwood comes back with an inside cradle for two, and then hits a back elbow. The suspenders come down as he goes up top for mounted punches in the corner. Then the shirt comes off as Nana passes Rave a chain. Redwood goes up top, and Rave wallops him with the chain on the way down for the DQ at 3:26. Necro Butcher comes out for the save and throws Rave around ringside, bodyslamming him into the front row. He throws the barricade on Rave and knocks out a referee. Necro is out of control! The beating continues for several minutes, much to the chagrin of Prince Nana. Rave eventually makes a comeback and dishes out some punishment of his own. They fight back towards the ring and Necro sets up two chairs in the ring and tries a powerbomb, but Rave slips out and heads for higher ground. Necro blasts a referee in the head with a chair. As far as the Rave versus Redwood match, it wasnâ€™t really much of a match but I appreciate the effort spent in trying to make me care about the Dog Collar match tomorrow night.
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MATCH #4: Davey Richards vs. Claudio Castagnoli
This is being billed as a â€œspecial attractionâ€ match. Richards is of course accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. This is an interesting heel versus heel contest, and the fans are cheering for both men. Itâ€™s slightly annoying that Castagnoli challenged Richards to put his title shot on the line, but there was never a response from Richards on the matter. They take it to the mat right away with some unique chain wrestling. Richards lands an early kick, but it doesnâ€™t affect Castagnoli much. They engage in a test of strength, which Castagnoli wins. Richards escapes with a monkey flip and a dropkick, sending Castagnoli to the floor. He then engages in some needless gymnastics just to show that he can. Back in the ring Richards takes Castagnoli to the mat and locks on the Trailer Hitch. Richards switches that over to a Muta Lock. Castagnoli reaches the ropes to break the hold. Richards goes for a suplex but Castagnoli hits a bicycle kick and a suplex of his own. Castagnoli then hits a European Uppercut to the back for two. He goes after the arm with the same tenacity that Richards went after his leg. Richards rolls to the floor and Castagnoli follows him out, whipping him into the barricade. Back in the ring Castagnoli hits the Les Artess Driver for two. Castagnoli continues to control the action, working Richards over with various strikes and submission maneuvers. He goes up top but Richards recovers and joins him up there, hitting a series of headbutts. Richards hits his first big offensive maneuver in a while, a big superplex. I donâ€™t like how Richards points at his injured body part. Both men get back to their feet and exchange strikes. Richards dumps Castagnoli to the floor and hits a Tope Con Hilo, and he winds up in about the fifth row. Back in the ring Richards unloads with kicks, hitting the handspring enziguiri for two. Castagnoli comes back with an awesome one-arm powerbomb for two. Richards tries another handspring enziguiri, but Castagnoli catches him with the UFO for a two-count. Castagnoli misses a charge in the corner and rams his shoulder into the ring post. Richards capitalizes with a missile dropkick right to the shoulder. Castagnoli comes back with an amazing Dead Lift German Suplex. Richards kicks out at two and turns it into the Kimura Lock. They trade strikes, and it appears that Richards is done selling. Richards hits a top rope Frankensteiner, kick to the chest, and a German Suplex with a bridge for two. He locks on the Kimura again and Castagnoli reaches the ropes. Castagnoli hits a jumping knee attack. He goes for the Alpamare Water Slide but Richards counters it and gets a rolling prawn for two. They trade strikes and Castagnoli hits the Pop-Up European Uppercut for two! Castagnoli goes for the Ricola Bomb but Richards counters with the Code Red to get the pin at 15:57. Thatâ€™s about as good of a heel versus heel matchup as youâ€™re going to get. I know everyone is all about Davey Richards right now, but Claudio Castagnoli is seriously one of the best workers in the company. Richards, ever the heel, soaks up the crowdâ€™s adulation.
MATCH #5: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Young Bucks
Mark and Nick Jackson start the match for their respective teams. They take it to the mat in the early going, which is not exactly what I expected to see. Mark takes the first advantage, but Nick weathers the storm and starts working the arm. He makes a quick tag to his brother, and the Bucks continue making ridiculously quick tags and showing off their athleticism. Mark gets whipped into the ropes too close to his brother, allowing Jay to make the tag. The Briscoes work Matt over for a few minutes until Matt avoids a charge in the corner and tags Nick. Jay fights back and makes the tag to Mark, who immediately locks on an abdominal stretch. The Young Bucks retake control, as the match struggles to find a rhythm. Jay and Mark start playing the heels, reminding me of how much fun those days were. The Bucks make another comeback, and then the Briscoes make a comeback, etc. The Briscoes finally take control for an extended period of time, and finally Matt makes the hot tag to Nick. Matt recovers rather quickly and gets tagged back in, only to be hit with a Death Valley Driver by Jay. The match breaks down to a brawl with all four guys going at it. Matt hits Mark with a spinning Diamond Dust for two. The Bucks try More Bang for Your Buck on Mark but he avoids it. Second later the Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on Matt to get the pin at 18:03. Call me crazy, but I just did not get into this match. It was all spot-spot-spot, with no selling and no real cohesion. There were way too many comeback spots, and the match actually felt much too long. Iâ€™m not sold on the Bucks.
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MATCH #6: Rasche Brown vs. Silas Young
Thereâ€™s no opening bell, as we join this one in progress. Rasche Brown is also known as the â€œSkullcrusher.â€ He throws Young around, and I wonder why Young has to keep playing jobber when Alex Payne and Bobby Dempsey arenâ€™t on this show at all. Brown press slams Young and continues to dominate. Young gets a bit of offense in. Oddly enough, Young is not a small man but heâ€™s sure wrestling like one. Eventually Brown hits a spear and the Burning Hammer to get the pin at 3:14. Brown is a bit different from the style usually presented in ROH, and it seems like itâ€™s helping him get over.
MATCH #7: Colt Cabana & Petey Williams vs. Austin Aries & Rhett Titus
Aries is the reigning ROH World Champion. Titus and Cabana start the contest. They may be my two least favorite people to watch in the entire company. Naturally they engage in shenanigans, and Cabana gets Williams involved in them as well, much to the delight of the crowd. Aries makes the tag tries some chain wrestling. Williams weathers the championâ€™s offense and makes the tag to Cabana. Aries and Titus take over on Cabana and work him over in their half of the ring. After several minutes of abuse Cabana knocks Titus off the apron and makes the tag to Maple Leaf Muscle. Turns out that the shot Titus took on the apron busted him open, and heâ€™s bleeding pretty badly now. Williams goes for the Canadian Destroyer on Titus but Aries breaks it up with a shot to the leg. Aries follows up with multiple shinbreakers. Hero decides to head to the back to get ready for his main event match against Bryan Danielson. Now Williams is the one getting worked over in the wrong corner. Eventually Williams makes the tag to Cabana, who immediately hits a moonsault to the floor on both men. Back in the ring Cabana stays in control, getting a two-count on Aries. Cabana goes for the Colt 45 but Aries breaks it up and puts on the Last Chancery. Williams makes the save but then quickly gets dumped to the floor. Cabana avoids some top rope attacks and hits the tornado suplex on Aries. The referee loses control, not being able to keep just the two legal men in the ring. In all the chaos Williams hits Aries with the Canadian Destroyer, sending the champ to the floor. Cabana follows up with a modified Colt 45 on Titus to get the win at 17:48. That was perfectly acceptable but not at all exciting.
MATCH #8: Main Event â€“ Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Hero
Shane Hagadorn accompanies Hero to the ring. A guy named Eric Santamaria makes his ROH debut to help Prazak commentate this main event match. Hero has been going through boxing training to enhance his knockout capabilities. They start slowly, and Hero takes an early powder. Back in the ring they take it to the mat, exchanging holds. Both men are focusing on the arm, and utilizing the refereeâ€™s five-count. Danielson gets the advantage and goes for the surfboard, but settles for driving Heroâ€™s knees into the mat, and then focusing his attack there. Hero tries escaping one of Danielsonâ€™s submission holds and suffers a series of brutal forearms to the face for his trouble. He shakes it off and knocks Danielson to the floor with a solid elbow. Hagadorn gets a cheap shot in while Hero distracts the referee. Hero hits a big boot to the face, and then pulls up the floor mat. He traps Danielson underneath and hits a senton. Danielson makes it back in the ring at the count of 18, and Hero continues to be in the driverâ€™s seat. Hero goes for Cattle Mutilation, but that just serves to make Danielson mad, as he breaks out of the hold and delivers a couple of forearms, but Hero cuts him off with a big boot. Danielson absorbs some strikes and executes the back flip off the top rope to avoid an Irish whip, and then sends Hero to the floor. He hits a dropkick through the ropes and then follows Hero to the floor with a flying knee off the apron. Back in the ring Danielson is wearing Hero out with kicks. Danielson hits a suplex and a diving headbutt off the top rope for two. Hero fights back with a rolling elbow and a blockbuster for two. He levels Danielson with a hard forearm for another two-count. Danielson avoids a vertical suplex but canâ€™t avoid another elbow strike that sends him to the floor. Hero follows him to the floor and whips him into the barricade. Danielson reverses another whip and sends Hero over the barricade and into the first couple rows. He goes back in the ring and wipes Hero out with the springboard dive. Back in the ring Danielson goes up top and lands a missile dropkick. He follows up with a running knee strike for two and then goes for Cattle Mutilation. Hero blocks it but in doing so puts himself in position for the elbow strikes, but Hero kicks out at two! Danielson is able to lock on Cattle Mutilation this time, but Hero is able to get to the ropes to break the hold. They trade strikes and Danielson wins that battle with a hard knee for two. Hero avoids the head kicks and hits the rip cord elbow for two! He takes off his elbow pad and Danielson gets a backslide out of nowhere for two. Danielson gets a schoolboy rollup for two. Hero goes for the Liger Bomb but Danielson counters it with kicks to the head, and then locks on a triangle choke! Danielson accentuates the choke with elbows to the head, but Hero withstands them and powers out of the hold with a powerbomb! They get back to their feet and exchange strikes once again. Hero wins that battle with the Death Blow and gets the pin at 24:09! That was a fantastic hard hitting contest, and did a lot to make Chris Hero look like a big star in the post-Danielson world.
PRELIMINARY MATCH: The Bravado Brothers vs. Tony Kozina & Kyle Oâ€™Reilly
The DVD menu spells this as â€œprelimary,â€ but I think I know what they meant. I admit that I donâ€™t know who any of these guys are, so it might be tough to do play-by-play. I hear someone shout â€œcome on Oâ€™Reilly,â€ so I assume heâ€™s in the ring with one of the Bravados. There is no commentary. Oâ€™Reilly makes the tag to Kozina, but the Bravados maintain control. Kozina doesnâ€™t stay in the ring too long before tagging back out to Oâ€™Reilly. Does anyone know the Bravado Brothersâ€™ first names? Anyway Kozina takes control and makes quick tags with Oâ€™Reilly to control one of the brothers. The Bravado comes back with a pair of enziguiris and then tags his brother. The match breaks down and weâ€™re left with Oâ€™Reilly and one of the Bravados. Oâ€™Reilly hits a running boot in the corner for two, and then locks on an Ankle Lock for the submission win at 4:44. I have no problem with this being on the preshow.
Bryan Danielsonâ€™s Encore
This is a nice bonus feature, as Danielson comes back out to Europeâ€™s â€œThe Final Countdownâ€ and thanks the fans for their years of support. Good stuff.
Two excellent matches plus some other decent stuff make this one of the better Dayton shows I can remember. Any fan of Bryan Danielson will want to see this show, but Davey Richards and Claudio Castagnoli nearly stole the show themselves. You can pick up this show Right Here.
Tags: Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero, ROH