1. “Skullkrusher” Rasche Brown def. “The New Horror” Sami Callihan, at 6:30 with his burning hammer variation; decent opener, Sami performed better than anticipated, as I don’t think much of anybody there really gave him a chance. Went after Skullkrusher’s taped ribs to some effectiveness before he got polished off. **
2. Dark City Fight Club def. The Bravado Brothers at 5:41 via referee stoppage due to repeated Jon Davis headbutts on one of the brothers. This was just not particularly impressive. The Bravados didn’t look very good and the DCFC didn’t look interested. They hit the Dark City Street Cutter on the other Bravado brother after the match just because they could. *1/4
3. Eddie Edwards def. The Metal Master at 10:50 via kneeling single leg crab. Technically solid, did some fun stuff that got the crowd into it, but nothing you remember a few days later. **3/4
4. The Embassy (Erick Stevens & Shawn Daivari) def. The House of Truth via disqualification. I forgot to start my watch for this one, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-13 minutes. This was just bad. The HoT were faces one minute, heels the next, and the Embassy was doing their typical schtick. It wound up clashing significantly and taking away from the match. Ugly finish saw Truth Martini interfere significantly and go up top for a flying headscissor and there was at least a 30 second to 1 minute delay before the DQ was called. Just a trainwreck. *3/4, and that’s being generous because of some of the solid tag work of the HoT.
5. Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards went to a 20 minute time limit draw. Just phenomenal. Match of the night, though not by much, as you’ll see. Davey bounced off the guardrail on his “tope con hilo into the 3rd row ™” in a nasty bump that just stunned my friend. Davey demands 5 more minutes and Roderick declines, citing his World Title shot on May 8th. ****1/4, losing 1/4 star for lack of a finish.
Intermission. Return date is July 24th.
6. Rhett Titus def. Petey Williams at 12:09 via a northern lights suplex style counter to the Canadian Destroyer, with his feet on the ropes. It was the first match back from intermission so the crowd wasn’t as into Titus’s antics as usual, and 12 minutes was far too long here. Nothing actively offensive, but it just dragged. **1/4
7. The Briscoe Brothers def. Austin Aries & Kenny King at 14:19 via Doomsday Device on Aries. Pre-match saw Aries deny any dissension between him and King, only to try to sow some seeds with the Briscoes instead. This paid off quickly with several miscommunication spots in the first 5 minutes, only for the Briscoes to tease a fight before turning and beating the hell out of a smirking Aries and King in their corner. King accidentally hits Aries with the Coronation via shenanigans, then gets hit with a Jay Driller, and the groggy Aries hit with the Doomsday Device and pinned. ***1/2
8. Tyler Black def. Chris Hero at 24:04 via the superkick/God’s Last Gift combo. Just great stuff, and the crowd was white hot for it. Had a big fight feel to start, and really delivered. They ran a pretty basic story of Tyler as underdog champion, and every time he started to put things together, Hero just DECKED him with an elbow and buckled his legs, before he was finally able to mount the comeback once and for all to put Hero away. ****
9. Colt Cabana & El Generico def. Kevin Steen & Steve Corino at around 19:21 (a text message screwed up the stopwatch on my phone) via ref stoppage. Finish saw Steve Corino–who was already heavily bloodied–caught in the Billy Goat’s Curse, only to have Generico rub a barbed wire bat in his face, place the bat under his head, and just bash the whole thing with a chair, prompting Todd Sinclair to call for the bell. ROH message board viewer called the cut “one of the worst (he’d) ever seen.” Weapons all over, tables, chairs, ladders, and even El Generico eating a Michinoku Driver from Kevin Steen on the hard camera scaffolding. Just a sick, sick brawl. Probably the best I’ve ever seen. You could feel the hatred. ****
Post-match sees Pearce, a bevy of referees and a number of other people hit the ring, and I legitimately thought Corino might have sustained a concussion. Steen cuts a promo in the ring directly to one of the handhelds in the ring, absolutely begging Generico for a match, ANY match of Generico’s choosing, in New York City and promising to kill him. Just incredible stuff.
All told, a great show, the worst match was the shortest, and the stuff you’d expect to deliver did so in SPADES. Highly recommended pickup as soon as it comes out.
Tags: Ring of Honor, ROH