A2Z Analysiz: ROH Revolution (Eddie Edwards, Chris Hero, Davey Richards)

Revolution: USA – Dearborn, Michigan – May 6, 2011

We open backstage with the Embassy at full strength. Prince Nana brags about how Tommaso Ciampa already defeated Homicide in Atlanta. Barrister R.D. Evans says that tonight will be Homicide’s last night in Ring of Honor. Nana says the Embassy is about to take all the gold but with one active wrestler that may prove difficult.

Kevin Kelly and Eric Santamaria are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Homicide vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Homicide won a four-way match over Ciampa, Colt Cabana, and Caleb Konley at Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 1 in Atlanta, and Ciampa beat Homicide in a singles match at Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 2, also in Atlanta. The commentators are putting over how Homicide may be missing something since making his return at Glory By Honor IX in New York. They have a decent back and forth match, with the Embassy interfering but Homicide still making Ciampa look strong. In the end Homicide gets distracted by Evans and Nana hands Ciampa a weapon. Homicide turns right around and grabs jacked with the weapon and Ciampa gets the pin at 8:05. That makes two straight victories over an ROH legend for Ciampa. That was a solid opener and about the right length for Homicide matches these days. I like how Ciampa is getting a solid push.
Rating: **¼

After the match Evans tries to throw a chair at Homicide but to no affect, so he throws Osiris to the wolf instead. Homicide hits Osiris with a nasty looking Cop Killa that did not look safe at all.

MATCH #2: Michael Elgin vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge

The awesome Brian Gorie is the official for this match. There’s no real story going in other than Ridge is still trying to prove himself after going 0-5 in his trial series, and Elgin is trying to build himself up as the House of Truth’s powerhouse. As expected, Ridge uses his quickness and kicks to try and gain control, but Elgin is just too powerful. Ridge puts up a pretty good fight but Elgin catches him in a Frankensteiner attempt with a spinning powerbomb to get the pin at 7:19. Ridge still has no direction so it’s a good call to feed him to Elgin. I would have even had it a little shorter and Elgin be more dominant, but this was pretty much right.
Rating: **

Steve Corino Will Address the Ring of Honor Fans

Earlier tonight, Redwood cut a promo outside about how he doesn’t want or need Steve Corino’s help, and that he’s already annoyed to be fighting his battles tonight against Mike Bennett.

Cut to the arena and Steve Corino is coming out to cut a promo. He says he’s an evil person but he’s trying to get better every day. He goes on to call Christopher Daniels a sellout for joining the House of Truth. Now he wants to bring out his sponsor, a fellow evil man who has been Corino’s sponsor. This man has been exiled from Ring of Honor but he is here tonight. Mike Bennett and Brutal Bob come out instead, and Corino tries to lecture Bennett into getting rid of Brutal Bob and wrestling for the fans. The crowd has no interest in hearing Bennett’s reply. When they finally let him talk, Bennett tries to get Corino to fall off the wagon, and that brings out Grizzly Redwood, Bennett’s originally scheduled opponent.

MATCH #3: “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett vs. Grizzly Redwood

This goes about as one would expect, with Bennett using his power to dominate, Redwood coming back with high flying offensive attacks, and Brutal Bob interfering when he gets the chance. The end comes when Bennett grabs Redwood with a piledriver to get the pin at 4:05. That was a solid little sprint and a good extension of the Corino versus Bennett feud. Speaking of, Corino and Bennett get into a brawl and Bennett hits him with the sit-down uranage slam.
Rating: **

Somewhere outside, Prince Nana, Barrister R.D. Evans, and Mia Yim are lamenting about their problem with Homicide. Meanwhile, Ernesto Osiris tries to sell his injured neck by yelling “it hurts.”

MATCH #4: First Blood Match – The All Night Express vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

The ANX beat the Briscoes at Manhattan Mayhem IV, and the Briscoes took one back in a grudge match at Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 2. This feud has absolutely MADE Rhett Titus and Kenny King thus far, and it’s far from over. I love the double turn here too, because the Briscoes are much scarier as heels. They fight both in and out of the ring, and the referee has little to say about it due to the rules of course. The Briscoes focus on Titus and try diligently to bust his head open. Both teams go to some creative lengths to draw blood. Finally the ANX is able to draw blood on Mark when King gives him the shotgun knees to the back, sending him into the guardrail. Meanwhile, Jay throws a chair at Titus’s head, busting him open. However, referee Paul Turner sees neither because he’s on the other side of the ring where King delivers a dive to the floor to wipe out Jay. Mark actually hides from Turner, but Titus isn’t as smart and Turner sees him and calls for the bell at 13:53. It’s rare that the Briscoes outsmart anyone, but there it is. I like the finish because it does make the ANX look more credible but also gives the feud a reason to continue.
Rating: ***½

The brawl continues after the bell, and the Briscoes bail. Mark is bleeding like a faucet. King gets on the mic and issues the challenge for a Chicago Street Fight at Supercard of Honor VI. King then decides that a gay slur is necessary to get his point across, which is disappointing.

MATCH #5: Non-Title Match – World TV Champion Christopher Daniels vs. Colt Cabana

Truth Martini cuts a promo before the match to introduce Daniels as the newest member of the House of Truth, after he double-crossed El Generico at Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 2. Daniels chimes in as well, putting over the Book of Truth. He then says the TV Title is basically going on hiatus because ROH no longer has TV, but also that it makes sense for him to hold it because he’s still on TV every week. The match goes about as you would expect, with Cabana utilizing his unorthodox chain wrestling and Daniels countering with Truth-related chicanery. After both guys run through their moves, Truth hits Cabana with the Book behind the referee’s back and Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings to get the pin at 8:58. The match was perfectly adequate, both guys are pros, but it was never particularly interesting or anything.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: Non-Title Match – World Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly

No entrances for this match for some reason. It doesn’t take long for the fans to chant “this is wrestling.” This is one of those “remarkable opportunity” matches in which Cole and O’Reilly are being given a chance to shine against the much more established champions. Haas and Benjamin dominate most of the action but Cole and O’Reilly get some offense in too. The match breaks down and the referee loses control. Somewhere in all the action, Benjamin hits O’Reilly with Paydirt to get the win at 17:42. The crowd loved it and I liked it too. Cole and O’Reilly looked about as good as they should against a team on Haas and Benjamin’s (perceived) level. I’m sure they’ll meet again.
Rating: ***¼

Roderick Strong and Truth Martini are backstage and promise to do what Kevin Steen could not do – end El Generico in a no-disqualification match.

MATCH #7: No-Disqualification Match – Roderick Strong vs. El Generico

Strong attacks Generico from behind to start. So far this year Strong successfully defended the ROH World Championship against Generico at SoCal Showdown II, and then Strong eliminated Generico in the main event of Defy or Deny, and then Generico got a win back at Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 2. Of course Truth liberally interferes since it’s a No-DQ match. They fight both in and out of the ring and Generico is able to weather the storm and control most of the early part of the match. Chairs and tables get involved and both men use their signature moves but have trouble putting the other guy away. Generico strikes big by setting Strong on a table and delivering a splash off the top rope but it only gets a two-count. Eventually Truth just decides to get in the ring and when Generico goes after him, Michael Elgin comes in for the save but gets thrown to the floor. Truth channels Shawn Michaels and sets up for the Sweet Chin Music for some reason, but stands there too long and Generico hits him with the running Yakuza kick. Generico then hits Strong with the Brainbuster but Elgin pulls referee Paul Turner to the floor. Christopher Daniels comes out now to beat Generico down in the corner. Elgin throws a table in the ring as the crowd chants for Colt Cabana. Finally Cabana does come out to make the save and he tumbles to the floor with Elgin. Generico then flies to the floor to wipe out both Elgin and Daniels. Referee Brian Gorie makes his way to the ring in time to see Generico land the running Yakuza Kick. Generico goes for a Super Brainbuster through a table, but Strong kicks him low and hits a half nelson suplex through the table for the pin at 20:52. I’m not against the interference, but some of Truth’s stuff just looked awkward. Aside from that, these two have mad chemistry as opponents and this was a really fun brawl.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #8: Kings VS Wolves II – The Kings of Wrestling vs. The American Wolves

This is a rematch from Tag Title Classic II in Plymouth last December. In the meantime, Eddie Edwards won the ROH World Championship from Roderick Strong at Manhattan Mayhem IV in March, and the Kings lost the ROH World Tag Team Titles to Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team at Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 1 in Atlanta in April. The Kings attack early to seize the advantage but the Wolves fight right back both in and out of the ring. They use a lot of their big moves early on and isolate Edwards, going for an early win. Interesting to note is that Edwards and Richards are now wearing two different color tights. As one would expect, this match features tons of striking and suplexing from everyone involved. Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn of course do their best to interfere and give the Kings an advantage when they can. Near the end of the match, Richards accidentally cracks Edwards in the face with a knee. Hero follows up with the Death Blow to pin the ROH World Champion at 23:29. I’m glad they kept this one a lot shorter than the last one that’s for sure. This was a lot of fun and nonstop action, but it was exactly the match I was expecting to see from these four guys, if that makes sense.
Rating: ***½

The Kings attack Edwards after the match and Richards runs them off. For some reason Edwards takes offense to this, since he’s the champion and all he says he can take care of himself. Richards for once leaves without getting a word in at the end of the show.

Revolution: Canada – Toronto, Ontario (Canada) – May 7, 2011

Kevin Kelly and Eric Santamaria are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Castagnoli is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. O’Reilly is a Vancouver native so the crowd is even more into him than a normal ROH crowd already is. Castagnoli works the crowd a lot in the early going, which is wise for an opener. He dominates most of the opening minutes save for a couple of O’Reilly kicks. Del Rey gets cheap shots in from the floor. When O’Reilly makes his comeback he uses the Sharpshooter, which gets a big pop. Castagnoli is able to withstand O’Reilly’s impressive offense long enough to hit the Ricola Bomb for the win at 11:53. The crowd gives O’Reilly the big ovation after the match, which was a really good choice for an opener and both guys looked good.
Rating: ***¼

Backstage, Truth Martini, Michael Elgin, and the ROH TV Champion Christopher Daniels talk about their important matches tonight.

MATCH #2: Grudge Match – Steve Corino vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett

Corino cuts a promo before the match, once again talking about how Christopher Daniels sold out. He mentions that he has a sponsor, someone very familiar to ROH audiences, and everyone assumes that it’s “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen but he won’t reveal the name yet. This is a rematch from Manhattan Mayhem IV, which Bennett won. Bennett also won a four corner survival match over Corino, Grizzly Redwood and Kyle O’Reilly when he pinned Corino back at the 9th Anniversary Show. Corino dominates the early going, wrestling like a non-evil person, except when he hits the ring bell against Bennett’s nuts. They fight out on the floor and Bennett takes the advantage there. Brutal Bob Evans interferes both in and outside of the ring to help Bennett keep the advantage. Corino keeps teasing the Thumb in the Bum and eventually delivers it to Evans. That gives Bennett the chance for the sitout uranage but it only gets two! Bennett hits the sitout uranage again and then delivers a piledriver and that’s enough to keep Corino down at 16:02. I like this feud and the story of this match, but they could have done it in a little less time, this felt quite long.
Rating: ** ½

After the bell Bennett delivers another piledriver and Corino is knocked out. I like how the commentators put over that Bennett would attack Corino because he knows no one will come out to save him.

Andy Ridge cuts a brief promo backstage about the Double Danger Scramble Match, which is up next. He says that tonight he’s going to prove he is a winner.

MATCH #3: Double Danger Scramble Match – Rhett Titus vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge

Basically this is a scramble but you have to get two victories to be the winner. Lucha rules apply. Naturally the offense comes fast and furious in the early going, with everyone trying to establish their dominance. Ciampa is the first one to score a win with a schoolboy rollup on Cole. The powerhouses Ciampa and Elgin get a lot of the offense in but the other four also get chances to shine. Titus scores a pinfall with the Zack Attack on Ridge. Cole actually hits a Super Canadian Destroyer on Elgin, which gets a huge pop but the pin is broken up by Titus and Ciampa. The crowd chants “this is awesome.” Elgin actually picks up both Cole and Redwood for a simultaneous Alabama Slam and pins both of them in succession to win the match at 14:39. When I first heard this match announced I thought it seemed needlessly complicated, but rules aside this was a super fun match and one of the best Six Man Mayhem-type matches I’ve seen in years.
Rating: *** ½

Backstage, Mike Bennett and Brutal Bob are gloating about the victory over Steve Corino, reiterating that he has no friends to save him. These two are not a good act.

MATCH #4: “The Big Bang!” Rematch – Davey Richards vs. Kenny King

They go back and forth in the early going, with King eager to prove he’s on Richards’s level. Richards mostly controls the action but King keeps pace with him and gets to show off some impressive offense both in and out of the ring. The crowd is pretty much with them the whole way as both guys strike and suplex the hell out of each other. Towards the end Richards goes for the pop-up German Superplex and slips, but he was still able to knock King backwards off the top rope. Yes it was a botch but it’s the kind of botch that’s believable under the circumstances and I can see how King would still have fallen so it works for me. Richards hits a German Suplex with a bridge and then locks on the Ankle Lock and King taps out at 21:18. They could have cut a couple minutes out of that but that was the usual solid Richards match and King comes out of it looking good.
Rating: ***¼

The Bravados Speak

Harlem and Lancelot come out in cheesy suits and introduce themselves. They call themselves the best team in wrestling history and such. After some more spouting off, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly come out to confront them. Of course it turns into a brawl with Cole and O’Reilly dominating.

MATCH #5: In Memory of “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney – Delirious vs. Colt Cabana

I ran into Larry Sweeney a couple of times over the years, and even spent a weekend traveling with him, Jimmy Jacobs, and Silas Young in March 2009 for the Stylin’ & Profilin’ and Insanity Unleashed events. He was a tremendously funny and genuinely nice guy; he really went out of his way to help me win the favor of a girl I was into at the time. Besides that he was a great talker and a gifted performer, and it was a sad day when we lost him. Delirious looks legitimately broken up before the match begins. Kelly and Santamaria decide to not say much and let Cabana and Delirious tell the story. They wrestle a really fun and lighthearted match filled with dancing and strutting and other general awesomeness. Cabana hits the 12 Large Elbow to get the pin at 8:03. I’ll throw a star rating on this out of my obsessive need to rate everything, but this is like the Bret versus Benoit match (although quite different), where the star rating isn’t really all that important.
Rating: ***

Backstage, Davey Richards puts Kenny King over after their hard-fought match. Richards offers a rematch anytime, anywhere.

MATCH #6: Non-Title Match – World TV Champion Christopher Daniels vs. El Generico

Truth Martini cuts a promo about Steve Corino, and as soon as he turns his attention go Generico, the Generic Luchadore comes running out and takes it right to Daniels. The match follows the Daniels and Generico formula, with Generico delivering high-flying and fast-paced offense, and Daniels countering with heel tactics and Truth Martini interference. They are both able to use some of their signature moves, and Daniels looks particularly surprised when Generico kicks out of the Angel’s Wings. Truth actually gets in the ring to interfere and pays dearly for it, as Generico hits him with the running Yakuza Kick. Generico goes for the Brainbuster but Daniels rescues him. Michael Elgin tries to interfere but Steve Corino comes to the rescue! Generico blasts Daniels with the running Yakuza Kick and then the Brainbuster to get the pin at 15:06. This was a really solid match between two of ROH’s most reliable.
Rating: ***¼

After the match Corino tries to make amends with Generico, who wisely refuses after everything Corino did to him in 2010. That leaves Corino prone to an attack from Daniels, Elgin, and Truth.

Backstage, the ROH World Champion Eddie Edwards discusses his recent issues with Chris Hero, who he will defend his title against tonight. He promises to retain in a very mundane promo.

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Match – World Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

Benjamin and Haas have been the champions since 4.1.11 and this is their first defense. (3:47)I haven’t seen their match from the Ninth Anniversary Show so this is my first shot at seeing these teams fight. It’s definitely for the best that the Briscoes are heels now, it had been a while. Both teams spend some time feeling each other out with and hitting some big moves early on before it settles into the tag team formula. The Briscoes take heat on Haas for a while before he’s able to come back with an Angle Slam and make the hot tag. The match breaks down to a brawl and the Briscoes try to use one of the tag team title belts, but the All Night Express come out and thwart the attempt, leading to Benjamin nailing Mark with the Paydirt to get the pin at 16:33. This was good stuff but never seemed to kick into another gear and was more a backdrop to the Briscoes versus All Night Express feud.
Rating: ***

Backstage, Steve Corino cuts another promo about how disappointed he is in Christopher Daniels since joining the House of Truth.

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – ROH World Champion Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Hero

Edwards has been the champion since 3.19.11, and this is his second defense. Hero is wearing pink gear in tribute to Larry Sweeney. These two have a connection from Sweet N’ Sour Inc., as both were members in 2008-2009. They start off slowly, feeling each other out early on. Edwards goes for an early Achilles Lock but Hero has it scouted. Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey get caught interfering and Todd Sinclair sends them to the back. Hero recovers from that setback and targets the champion’s arm. That’s a good strategy because you figure Edwards would be expecting knockout and Hero goes more for a submission. Edwards stays in it and fights back with chops and strikes whenever he can. At one point Edwards looks to be going to the top rope but Hero knocks him down and the champion crashes through the timekeeper’s table! After more back and forth big maneuvers, Hagadorn and Del Rey come out to distract the referee and Claudio Castagnoli sneaks in the ring to deliver the Ricola Bomb but Edwards is still able to kick out at two! Edwards comes back with the Achilles Lock and Castagnoli jumps up on the apron until Davey Richards comes out to awkwardly fight him off. Both men continue throwing bombs at each other but can’t put the other away. Finally Edwards locks on the Achilles Lock (after multiple uses) and stomps on Hero’s head to knock him out and retain the title at 37:18. That actually didn’t feel as long as it was, and outside of the Castagnoli and Richards shenanigans was a tremendous match.
Rating: ****


Video Wire 5-13-11
Video Wire 5-18-11
– The Briscoes Want Revenge
– The Fallen Angel Accepts

The Pulse: Of the two shows, Canada is the stronger one, but both have really good stuff on them and they go well together. The Edwards versus Hero match stands out amongst the crowd, but strong performances from Roderick Strong, El Generico, Steve Corino, the All Night Express, and the Briscoe Brothers highlight the two shows, both of which you can pick up Right Here.

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