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“With unequaled aggression and natural chemistry honed from a mutual desire to be the absolute best, The American Wolves took the tag team division by storm. Sending a message with ruthless assaults on The Briscoes and Steen & Generico, Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards quickly ascended to the top of the heap and claimed championship success. Be it in a Ladder War or in state of the art tag team exhibitions against duos like The Young Bucks or The Kings of Wrestling, Davey & Eddie dominated the competition with a unique hybrid of submission wrestling, brutal striking, and with a drive for success rarely matched by any others.
This 19 match collection is a showcase of how Richards & Edwards became two of ROH’s elite and demonstrates how in the quest to be the best, the hunt never dies…”
MATCH #1: Three Way Tag Team Match – American Wolves vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Nigel McGuinness & Claudio Castagnoli, All Star Extravaganza IV, 12.26.08
Nigel and Jay start the match. They chain wrestle for a bit before Nigel aggressively tags Richards into the match. Richards takes control of Jay, but the momentum switches to the Briscoes when Edwards gets tagged in. Mark follows the apparent tagging rule for this match, as he aggressively tags the ROH World Champion into the match. The Wolves try to double-team him in their corner so the champion wisely takes a powder. Back in the ring Nigel wants no part of Richards, so he tags Jay into the match. The E.U. lets the Wolves take control of the Briscoes before weaseling their way back into the match. They work over Jay for a while before he makes the comeback. The Briscoes try the springboard Doomsday Device on Claudio but Davey breaks that up from the floor, further injuring Mark’s bad knee. Claudio hits a pop-up European Uppercut on Jay, but he’s unaware that Edwards made the blind tag, and Edwards rolls Claudio up to eliminate him and Nigel at 10:33! Man, Claudio jobs to everybody. Nigel is unhappy about this development. An angry Claudio grabs the timekeeper with that ridiculous mustache and throws him into the first row.
Back in the ring we’re down to the Briscoes versus the Wolves, and they’re working on Mark’s weakened knee. After several minutes of abuse Mark makes the hot tag to Jay, and he cleans house on the Wolves. A Death Valley Driver on Richards only gets two. The Wolves use some double teaming to reclaim the advantage. Edwards hits the backpack chin-breaker for two. Does that move have a name? The Wolves use more double teaming, and even try the springboard Doomsday Device. The Briscoes won’t allow that though, and break it up. Moments later Jay hits the Jay Driller and the Briscoes pick up the win at 18:57. That was a fun match with a variety of styles and it came together pretty well. I don’t like the name “American Wolves” but I think they can be an effective tag team, especially if Edwards can develop some sort of personality.
Final Battle 2008
Immediately after the match [the Briscoes defeated Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima] the American Wolves come out and attack the Briscoes. They handcuff Jay to the ropes and then brutalize Mark’s knee with a chair. The ROH World Tag Team Champions Kevin Steen and El Generico come out to run them off. They turn their backs to check on the Briscoes, and the Wolves attack the champions! Roderick Strong, Brent Albright, and Erick Stevens come out to run them off for good. Brent Albright is pissed!
MATCH #2: World Tag Team Title No DQ Match – American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico, 7th Anniversary Show, 3.21.09
Steen & Generico have been the champions since 9.19.08, and this is their seventh defense. We see clips from Final Battle 2008 and Insanity Unleashed, when the Wolves viciously attacked Steen’s knee. Bobby Cruise announces that this mach is a no-disqualification match. The Wolves are accompanied by Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn. The champions charge the ring and quickly send the challengers for a powder. Steen hits a dive, wiping out both Wolves on the floor. Back in the ring the champions stay in control, and since it is no-DQ a chair gets involved pretty early on. They eventually come back to hurt the champs, as Richards catches Generico with a Tombstone Piledriver right onto a pile of chairs. The Wolves then immediately start attacking Steen’s knee, even bashing it with a steel chair. Steen is able to low-bridge the top rope and sends both Wolves crashing to the floor. Generico has recovered and hits a dive off the top rope onto the challengers, and hits Edwards in the gut with a chair. The champions are firmly back in control as Steen introduces a ladder to Edwards’s face. Richards takes a beating and Edwards comes to his rescue but eats a running Yakuza for his troubles. Generico tries a somersault dropkick onto Richards, but Richards moves and Generico’s back cracks against the ladder. The second attempt, this time on both Wolves, hits successfully. Richards comes back and once again goes after the knee. He hits it with a chair and then locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. Generico breaks it up, and then accidentally nails Steen in the head with a chair. Richards goes up for his Shooting Star Press but Steen avoids it and then takes out Richards’s knees with the chair. Steen locks on the Sharpshooter and Richards taps out at 16:29. That was tremendous chaos and lots of hate-filled brawling that I like in my tag team wrestling. Ever the sore losers, the Wolves attack the champions after the match, bloodying Steen and putting Generico through a table. Steen then gets tied up to the ropes and blasted with a con-chair-toe.
MATCH #3: World Tag Team Title Tables Match – American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico, ROH on HDNet Episode 11, 5.30.09
This match actually took place on April 10 but didn’t air until May 30. This is the problem with two divergent timelines. Steen and Generico have been the champions since 9.19.08 and this is their eighth defense. The Wolves charge out and the fight begins in the aisle. Steen pairs off with Richards on one side while Generico battles Edwards on the other side, so we get a split screen to follow all the action. Generico dominates Edwards and goes over to help Steen. They throw Richards into the ring and the bell rings (even though I swear it rang while they were fighting in the aisle) to officially start the match.
Richards struggles to his feet while both Steen and Generico work him over. Edwards tries to help his partner but the champions just roll right over him too. The fight spills to the floor and Steen introduces the first table. Both Wolves get tossed into the table. Back in the ring the champions continue to dominate. Richards pulls Generico to the floor and whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Richards attacks Steen’s knee. Generico gets back in the ring and the Wolves hit a superkick/German Suplex combo right onto the table. Edwards then drops Steen knee-first onto a table, breaking it in the process. AMERICAN WOLVES! The challengers continue working over Steen’s knee. Generico makes it back in the ring with a flying body press off the top rope on both Wolves. He hits Edwards with a Michinoku Driver for two. Richards calls out the DR Driver but can’t hit it. Generico hits an awkward tornado DDT and then takes Edwards out with a somersault dive to the floor. Meanwhile back in the ring Richards tries a hurricanrana (which he does all the time) and Steen powerbombs him onto a flat table. Steen goes up top and hits the Swanton and Generico follows with a Superfly Splash and Edwards breaks up the cover. All four men go back to the floor. Steen and Generico stack up a couple of tables and Steen tries to powerbomb Edwards off the apron. Richards breaks it up by going after the knee. Edwards brings a table into the ring. Meanwhile Richards tries the Shooting Star Press but misses. Generico takes Edwards out with the tornado DDT around the ring post. He sets Edwards on the table and delivers a big splash off the top rope! That’s enough to break the table. In the ring Steen has Richards in the Sharpshooter. Shane Hagadorn comes out to interfere and Steen drills him with a Package Piledriver. Steen then hits Richards with a superkick and sets up a table. He goes for a moonsault but Richards shoves him off the top rope and he crashes through the table stack from earlier! Generico gets back in the ring and sets Richards up for a super Brainbuster but Edwards breaks it up. The Wolves hit a Doomsday Ace Crusher through the table to get the pin and become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions at 13:26. That was action packed and a really good TV main event.
MATCH #4: World Tag Team Title Match 2/3 Falls – American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & Jay Briscoe, The Homecoming II, 4.25.09
The Wolves have been champions since 4.10.09, and this is their second defense. Briscoe has five ROH Tag Team Title reigns to his credit, and Steen has one of his own. The champions attack the challengers from behind and they all take it to the floor right away. Briscoe pairs off with Edwards while Steen battles Richards. Back in the ring the challengers maintain control, working Edwards over. Edwards drives Briscoe back into the corner and tags Richards. Briscoe hits a dropkick and tags Steen. The challengers work Richards over now, and the champions appear to be in trouble. Edwards gets tagged in and the Wolf abuse continues. After several minutes Edwards makes a blind tag to Richards, who kicks Steen in the chest, and now the champions go to work on Steen. Hagadorn even gets his shots in at ringside. The Wolves double-team Steen for a while, and Briscoe gets fed up and enters the ring illegally to clothesline Edwards to the floor. Steen locks Richards in the Sharpshooter, and when Edwards tries to break it up Steen puts him in the hold instead! Edwards taps the first fall away at 10:54.
The Wolves start heading for the back, but the challengers are all “nu-uh” and they bring them back to the ring. Back in the ring Richards starts working on Steen’s injured knee, and the Wolves smell blood now. After several minutes Steen makes the hot tag to Briscoe. He hits Richards with a spinebuster for two, but can’t hit the Jay Driller. Richards hits a kick to the back and tags Edwards, who hits a leaping knee strike to the face for two. Edwards hits an enziguiri and the backpack chinbreaker for two. He hits a release German Suplex, and Briscoe All Japan sells it and hits a boot to the face. Both men make tags and Steen hits Richards with a DDT and goes for the Package Piledriver. Richards blocks it and hits a dragon screw. The Wolves hit a sequence of maneuvers on Steen ending with Richards locking Steen in the Texas Cloverleaf, and Steen taps to even things up at one fall apiece at 19:10.
Steen gets up and tries the Package Piledrive but once again Richards blocks it and puts Steen back in the Cloverleaf. Briscoe breaks it up and pulls Steen over to the corner to make the tag. Richards and Briscoe trade shots, and Briscoe wins the battle with a clothesline for two. The Wolves get knocked to the floor and Steen wipes them out with a somersault dive. Back in the ring Steen goes up top for a Swanton and Briscoe follows him with a splash for two. Steen tries to get Edwards in the sharpshooter, meanwhile Richards puts Briscoe in the Cloverleaf, but Edwards and Briscoe aren’t legal so these submissions won’t count. Just to be jerks Steen and Richards spit on each other, and Steen breaks his hold first. Steen hits a Package Piledriver on Richards and Edwards just barely breaks it up! The referee has his back turned and Edwards nails Steen with a low blow. Tags are made, and Edwards and Briscoe start throwing bombs. Steen accidentally hits Jay with a low blow, and the Wolves hit the Superkick / German Suplex / Jackknife Pin combo, but Briscoe kicks out! I bought that as a finish. The Wolves knock Steen to the floor and hit Briscoe with the Doomsday Ace Crusher to capture the final fall and retain the tag titles at 24:34. I feel like the American Wolves are almost an automatic four stars at this point. After the match Briscoe rightly has a beef with Steen, and they get into a shoving match.
MATCH #5: World Tag Team Title Submissions Match – American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico, Manhattan Mayhem III, 6.13.09
The Wolves have been the champions since 4.10.09, and this is their fifth defense. They’re accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Steen and Generico are eager to get the fight started, so they chase the Wolves to the floor and the brawl is on. The challengers are in complete control early on, much to the delight of the NYC crowd. Then they spend too much time gloating, and Richards takes advantage, bringing Steen back in the ring. Richards goes for a missile dropkick, but Steen avoids it and locks on a Sharpshooter. Edwards breaks that up. I hate it when in no-disqualification matches they enforce tags and the legal man rule. What exactly is the referee going to do in a match where the only way a team can win is by submission? Richards escapes an abdominal stretch and tags Edwards. Before too long the challengers are back in control. Edwards backs Steen into a corner and tags Richards, who wisely goes after Steen’s arm, starting to wear it down. The Wolves work Steen’s arm briefly, and then shift focus to his knee. Also, why does the referee enforce rope breaks? After a long beating, Generico comes flying in to the ring with a cross body off the top rope, taking both Wolves out. This gives Steen time to recover, and he hits a superkick and a cannonball in the corner, and then locks on another Sharpshooter. Richards escapes and Steen makes the tag. Generico nails Richards with the running Yakuza kick in the corner, a Suplex, and then another Yakuza. He tries to choke Richards out but Edwards breaks it up. Steen and Edwards fight to the floor while Generico slugs Richards down in the ring. Generico runs into the ropes and Edwards pulls them down. Richards then leaps off the top rope with a Shooting Star Press to the floor, wiping everyone (including his own partner) out. Back in the ring Generico catches Richards with a Michinoku Driver. Generico tries another running Yakuza but Richards catches the leg and hits a Dragon Screw, and then vicious attacks the knee. Richards puts Generico up top and then gets knocked down. Edwards runs in with a knee to Generico’s face, and then hits a super rana. Richards locks Generico in a Texas Cloverleaf and Steen just barely breaks it up. Moments later Steen locks Richards in yet another Sharpshooter, but Richards won’t give up. Edwards tries to break it up, but Generico catches him and locks on a Sharpshooter as well! The Wolves break the holds. Steen goes for a Package Piledriver but gets backdropped to the floor. Generico hits a running Yakuza on Edwards and sets him up top. Richards comes out of nowhere to whack Generico in the knee with the ring bell, and Edwards locks on a single leg crab. Generico taps and the Wolves retain at 18:42! That was a seriously great match, as if that should surprise anyone. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
MATCH #6: World Tag Team Title Match – American Wolves vs. Bryan Danielson & Tyler Black, ROH on HDNet Episode 15, 6.27.09
The Wolves have been champions since 4.10.09, and this is their fourth defense. This is the second time Danielson and Black have challenged for the belts after the 45-minute classic in April. Black and Edwards start the match with some chain wrestling. Tags are made and Danielson and Richards pick up the mat wrestling. Danielson gets the better of the exchange so Richards takes a powder. Black tags in as the momentum continues to shift back and forth in the early going as several tags are made on either side. The challengers try to isolate Richards and keep him in their half of the ring. Richards recovers and forces Black back into the corner before making the tag. Edwards and Black exchange chops and Black wins that battle. Danielson tags in and puts on the surfboard. The challengers are dominating the champions and looking good as a team. Danielson sends Richards to the floor and goes for a dive but Edwards cuts him off illegally. Edwards goes for a dive but Black shows him that turnabout is indeed fair play. Danielson is then able to wipe out both Wolves with a dive to the floor. Back in the ring Danielson goes to the top rope but gets cut out of the air with a Richards dropkick. Now the Wolves are in control. After a few minutes Danielson hits both Wolves with a simultaneous dropkick and makes the tag. Black is a house afire and dumps both Wolves to the floor. He wipes them out with a somersault plancha and lands on his feet. Back in the ring Black hits Richards with the springboard lariat for two. Black hits a standing shooting star press for another two-count. Richards fights back with a hard kick. The Wolves recover and double-team Black, with Edwards taking him down to put him in a position to hit a missile dropkick for two. Danielson makes it back in the ring with a flying knee off the top rope on Richards. He hits Richards with another flying knee strike and Black covers for two. The referee has lost control of the match. The Wolves hit a double-team Alarm Clock and a double-team lungblower on Black for a near-fall. Danielson makes it back in and all four men wind up down on the canvas. They get to their feet and slug it out. Danielson traps Edwards in a triangle choke and Black hits Richards with a Buckle Bomb. Black hits a superkick for two. Danielson holds Richards in place with some kicks to the head while Black is on the top rope, but as he goes to knock Edwards off the apron he accidentally knocks Black off the top rope. The challengers argue, giving Richards the chance to roll Black up for the pin at 18:27. The finish was a little forced but I like what they were driving at, and the match was the usual good TV stuff from these four guys.
MATCH #7: American Wolves vs. Cheech & Cloudy, ROH on HDNet Episode 23, 8.31.09
The Wolves are the Tag Team Champions but this is a non-title match. Richards and Edwards take it to Cheech and Cloudy but the former Special K members hit simultaneous headscissors and dropkicks to send them champs to the floor. Cheech and Cloudy go for dives but the Wolves avoid them. Back in the ring Edwards goes to work on Cheech. Richards tags in and Cheech is able to make a tag himself. Cloudy hits Edwards with a missile dropkick and hits Richards with an enziguiri. He charges in and the Wolves catch him with the double-team Alarm Clock and the double-team lungblower. Edwards then locks on the Achilles Lock for the tap-out win at 2:01. That was a perfectly entertaining squash.
MATCH #8: World Tag Team Title Match – American Wolves vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe, Final Countdown Tour: Chicago, 9.19.09
This was originally scheduled as a non-title match, but that just didn’t sit well with Jay, so he challenges them to put the belts on the line. ROH President Cary Silkin agrees with the Briscoes, and now we have a title match on our hands. The Wolves have been the champions since 4.10.09, and this is their eighth defense. They are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. The Briscoes attack right away and have all the momentum on their side. Edwards is the unfortunate Wolf who gets stuck in the Briscoes’ half of the ring. They work him over a bit, until Edwards hits a jawbreaker and tags Richards. Jay picks up where he left off with Edwards and they start beating up Richards now. Neither Jay nor Mark seems interested in selling any Wolf offense in these opening minutes. Of course as soon as I type that, the Wolves take over on Mark, who continues trying to fight back. Mark avoids a double-team maneuver and makes the tag to Jay. The Wolves try to double-team Jay but that doesn’t go well for them. Jay hits Richards with a Death Valley Driver for two. The Wolves recover and Richards locks Jay in a Texas Cloverleaf, and Mark comes in to break it up. They continue to work Jay over in their half of the ring for several minutes, keeping Jay away from his brother. Of course at some point Jay decides to stop selling and makes the tag to Mark, who comes in a house afire. He nails Edwards with a Fisherman Buster for two. He follows up with a Super Ace Crusher for another near-fall. He goes for the Cutthroat Driver but Edwards reverses it to a belly-to-back suplex, and Richards gets the tag.
Mark tries a uranage but Richards counters with a victory roll for two. Richards comes back with a handspring enziguiri while Mark stands there waiting for it. The Wolves finally go after Mark’s previously injured knee. Edwards hits a super duper Frankensteiner and Richards locks him in the Texas Cloverleaf. Jay tries to break the hold and Richards spits in his face. Everybody’s up now and throwing kicks and strikes, and all four eventually go down. Jay and Edwards wind up as the legal men in the ring, and Jay hits a big clothesline for two. The Wolves come back with double-teaming and Edwards locks Jay in the Half Crab until Mark breaks it up. They go for the superkick / German Suplex combo but Jay avoids it and hits the Jay Driller! Richards breaks up the pin, but then gets dumped to the floor. The Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device, but Richards breaks it up by dropkicking Paul Turner in the face. That’s enough for the disqualification at 18:07. The match was a lot of fun in spots, but it was pretty much just that, spots. Selling was really nowhere to be found, and the rules came and went as they saw fit. Still, to see four guys completely kick the crap out of each other it was pretty entertaining.
MATCH #9: World Tag Team Title Match, Ladder War II – American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico, Glory By Honor VIII, 9.26.09
The Wolves have been champions since 4.10.09, and this is their ninth defense. Edwards is coming into the match with a broken elbow that he received in a street fight with Steen last night in Boston. The battle quickly spills to the floor. Steen and Generico are dominant in the early going. Edwards is definitely the weak link due to his injury. It doesn’t take long for a ladder to get involved and be used as a weapon, mostly by the challengers. Generico tries to climb up for the belts, but Richards stops him with a steel chair. The Wolves back body drop Generico on a ladder, bending it in half. Hagadorn hands Richards a pair of handcuffs and he handcuffs Steen’s hands behind his back. The Wolves then run a ladder into his face, and are just having their way with him. Hagadorn pulls out a table, and Generico returns to the ring a house afire. The Wolves put that fire out by hitting a German Suplex through said table. Richards has a chain now and wraps it around his foot before delivering the Kawada Kicks. Edwards tries to climb up for the belts but Steen knocks him over. Generico rejoins the ring with running Yakuza kicks for all. He grabs Hagadorn and steals the handcuffs key, and then unlocks his partner. He then sets up another table, and a ladder. Steen also sets up a table. Richards comes back with a tornado DDT through a table on the floor to Steen. Richards and Generico climb the ladder, with tables on either side of them. Generico hits a sunset bomb off the ladder through a table. He climbs back up the ladder and Edwards meets him up there. Edwards back body drops Generico off the ladder through the other table! The ladder falls over and Edwards falls as well. Hagadorn brings out a bigger ladder and Edwards sets it up. Generico dives through that ladder and over the top rope to wipe out Richards on the floor! Steen wallops Edwards in the head with a chair and starts climbing. Edwards recovers and shoves the ladder over, sending Steen through a table on the floor. He climbs up the big ladder, and Generico meets him there. Edwards pulls Generico’s leg through the ladder, and Richards hits him with a weak chair shot. He locks Generico in a half crab, and Richards retrieves the belts at 23:55. Of course it wasn’t as good as the first one, but props to Edwards for giving a hell of an effort. It’s hard to be innovative in ladder matches these days but they did cool spots and only a few of them were contrived.
MATCH #10: American Wolves vs. Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong, ROH on HDNet Episode 33, 11.9.09
Danielson and Richards start the match with some fast-paced back-and-forth action. Tags are made and Strong and Edwards start the chain wrestling. Strong and Danielson take control and focus on Edwards. Richards interferes from the apron to give the Wolves the advantage. The Wolves work on Danielson a bit before he’s able to come back with a diving European Uppercut off the second rope. Strong is still suffering the effects of taking a swinging DDT on the floor so he can’t make the tag. Richards spits in Strong’s face just to be a dick. The Wolves continue to isolate Danielson for several minutes until Richards tries the handspring spin kick but Danielson blocks it with a dropkick. Now Strong is able to get the tag and he’s a house afire. Strong hits a half nelson backbreaker on Richards for a two-count. Edwards tags in and the Wolves double-team Strong. Richards hits a missile dropkick and Edwards covers for two. Danielson rejoins the fray and tries Cattle Mutilation on Edwards but Richards grabs Danielson and puts on the Texas Cloverleaf! Neat counter. Edwards then grabs Strong in the Achilles Lock but no submissions can be forced. The referee loses control as no one seems to care about tags anymore. Strong and Danielson hit the Hart Attack clothesline for two, and then Strong turns it into the Stronghold. Richards comes in to break it up but Strong holds on. Danielson grabs Richards from the apron and traps him in a sleeper! That’s neat. Edwards escapes the Stronghold but Strong sits down int a cradle for a near-fall. Strikes start flying in from everywhere and all four men are down. Back on their feet Richards clotheslines Danielson so hard that both men tumble to the floor. Edwards lands a kick to Strong’s head and then hits the Backpack Chinbreaker for a two-count. The Wolves double-team Strong with kicks and Edwards gets another two-count. They go for a Doomsday Device but Danielson shoves Richards to the floor. Danielson hits Edwards with a missile dropkick and then wipes Richards out with a dive. Strong hits Edwards with a torture rack backbreaker for two. He hits the gutbuster and Edwards responds with a superkick so Strong hits the Sick Kick. Edwards luckily gets his foot on the bottom rope. Strong puts Edwards up on the top rope and Richards gets the referee to turn his back so he can hit Strong with a low blow. The Wolves hit Strong with the double-team lungblower but Strong kicks out! Edwards puts on the Achilles Lock and Strong taps out at 16:30. That was filled with excellent action and was a great (almost) sendoff for Danielson while putting the spotlight on the remaining three wrestlers (all of whom would go on to win the ROH World Title). Good stuff here.
MATCH #11: American Wolves vs. The Young Bucks, ROH on HDNet Episode 35, 11.23.09
The Wolves have been the Tag Team Champions since 4.10.09, and this is their seventh defense (it was taped on September 11, 2009). Richards and Nick Jackson start the match. The Bucks take the first advantage and make quick tags. They knock both Wolves to the floor and wipe them out with simultaneous house show dives. The crowd is into the Bucks. Back in the ring the angry Wolves isolate on Matt Jackson and start wearing him down. Edwards tries a suplex but Matt reverses it to one of his own. Matt tries to make a tag but can’t quite do it yet so the Wolves go right back to working him over. Eventually Matt uses his quickness to avoid Wolves’ attacks and make the tag. Nick starts flying all over the place and the crowd is juiced for him. The Bucks execute some impressive double-team moves but can’t put either Wolf away. Richards and Edwards fight back and the referee stops enforcing the legal man rule. The Bucks start flying again. Matt hits Edwards with Diamond Dust for a near-fall. The Bucks hit More Bang For Your Buck and Richards has to break up the cover. Richards and Nick slug it out and Richards hits the handspring spin kick to send Nick to the floor. Matt and Richards trade kicks but Edwards comes in and throws Matt right into the Alarm Clock. The Wolves hit the Double-team lungblower but it only gets two! Edwards locks Matt in the Achilles Lock as Richards hits Nick with the DR Driver. Matt taps out at 12:13. That just flew by and the crowd was into it the whole time. It’s too bad ROH can’t figure out how to use the Bucks.
MATCH #12: World Tag Team Title Match – American Wolves vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe, Final Battle 2009, 12.19.09
The Wolves have been champions since 4.10.09, and this is their tenth defense. This feud began one year ago at Final Battle 2008. This is the Wolves’ first title defense since Ladder War II almost three months ago. Richards and Mark start the match. They chain wrestle for a bit, and then Edwards gets tagged into the match. Edwards and Mark trade kicks to the back and Edwards tags back out to Richards. Mark subdues Richards with a headlock and then goes after his leg. They trade some holds and wrestle to a stalemate, and then tag their partners. Edwards kicks Mark right off the ring apron just to be a dick. Richards gets tagged back in and Jay returns the favor by kicking Edwards to the floor, and then the Briscoes level Richards with a double tackle, sending him to the floor. The Wolves attempt to regroup on the floor while the crowd chants “Man Up.” Back in the ring it turns into a pier-six brawl, with everyone kicking each other in the face and head. Mark hits Edwards with a t-bone suplex and Jay follows up with a boot to the face for two. The challengers are cutting the ring in half and working Edwards over. The Wolves use some clever double-teaming to target Mark’s knee and take advantage on him. Mark comes back with an Ace Crusher on Edwards and makes the tag. Jay is all over both Edwards and Richards. He drops Edwards with a spinebuster for two. Edwards appears to be injured, while Richards throws Mark into the guardrail and kicks him into the crowd. In what should come as a shock to no one, Edwards was playing possum, and the Wolves hit Jay with the Superkick-German Suplex-Jackknife Pin combination for a two-count. The Wolves work Jay over for several minutes. Jay comes back with a Death Valley Driver on Edwards and both men make tags. Mark is on fire with his Redneck Kung Fu. He hits Richards with an Iconoclasm for two when Edwards breaks it up. Mark hits Richards with a missile dropkick, and then the Briscoes execute the Sidewinder (!) for a near-fall! I love that move. Jay sets Richards up for the Jay Driller but Richards escapes it. Edwards gets tagged in and he exchanges strikes with Jay. He hits an enziguiri and then charges into a big boot. He fights back with the Backpack Chinbreaker for two. Edwards hits a super Frankensteiner and Richards hits a running kick to the chest. Richards follows up with a DR Driver but it only gets two! Edwards has a Half Crab locked on Jay, while Richards has a Texas Cloverleaf on Mark. The Briscoes counter them both with small packages for two-counts. Mark gets dumped to the floor and the Wolves hit the double-team Alarm Clock and a powerbomb/lungblower combination for two. Edwards locks Jay in the Half Crab and he reaches the ropes to break it. The Wolves try a Doomsday Device but Mark breaks it up and the Briscoes throw some suplexes. Jay turns Edwards inside out with a lariat for a two-count. He goes for the Jay Driller but Edwards fights it off. The Briscoes hit Edwards with a double superkick for a two-count. Jay hits Edwards with the Jay Driller, which only gets two. I hate how that move doesn’t mean the end of a match. The Briscoes nail Edwards with the Doom to get the pin and their sixth ROH World Tag Team Title at 22:52. I think they could have cut a few momentum shifts out of the early going and had a much tighter match at 18 minutes or so, but this was still very good.
MATCH #13: Number One Contender’s Match – American Wolves vs. The Young Bucks, ROH on HDNet Episode 46, 2.8.10
Richards and Matt start the match. These two teams tore the house down in their last match so I look forward to this. They start with some mat wrestling. Matt hits a headscissors and a dropkick that sends Richards to the floor. The Bucks send Edwards out as well and they go for a dive but the Wolves scatter to avoid getting wiped out. Back in the ring Edwards and Nick take it to each other. Things get heated but it’s the Bucks who utilize impressive teamwork to take control. Matt and Richards tag back in and now the Wolves are able to go on offense. Momentum continues to shift between the two teams. The Wolves isolate Nick and keep him isolated in their half of the ring. Richards tries the handspring enziguiri but Nick counters it with a dropkick. Matt tags in and handles both Wolves briefly before walking into the Boston Knee Party from Edwards. Richards then hits the Tombstone Piledriver for two. He follows up with a huge kick to the head for another two-count. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. Edwards and Nick take it to the floor while Richards hits Matt with a back suplex for two. The Wolves dominate for a bit but then Matt fights back on Edwards in the ring while Nick takes it to Richards on the floor. The Bucks use their speed and agility to subdue the Wolves and get a breather. Nick finally does get the hot tag and he’s got plenty of energy. He hits Richards with an Ace Crusher for two. The referee loses control but that doesn’t change the fact that the Bucks are in control. It doesn’t last though, as the Wolves regain control and the momentum continues shifting. Matt hits Edwards with Diamond Dust for a two-count. Richards hits Matt with a missile dropkick for a two-count. Matt comes back and hits Richards with a reverse rana! I love that move. The Bucks set up More Bang For Your Buck but the Wolves avoid it. Richards hits Matt with a German Superplex. The Wolves then hit him with the double-team lungblower but Matt kicks out! Edwards traps him in the Achilles Lock. Nick tries to come to his brother’s aid but Richards catches him in the Texas Cloverleaf. The Bucks simultaneously counter with small packages for two-counts. That would have been a neat finish. The Wolves catch Matt with the double-team Alarm Clock but then Edwards accidentally kicks Richards in the face! Nick takes Edwards to the floor and Matt covers Richards for two. The Bucks hit More Bang For Your Buck and Edwards breaks up the cover. Nick sends Edwards back to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Richards drills Matt with a kick to the head and tries the DR Driver but Matt surprises him with a jackknife cradle to get the upset win at 20:58! That was a very different match than the last one these two teams had, and I really appreciate that. It was also equally good, which is impressive, and I like the Bucks going over.
MATCH #14: World Tag Team Title Match – American Wolves vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe, From the Ashes, 3.26.10
The Briscoes have been the champion since 12.19.09 (when they beat the Wolves) and this is their third defense. This is the Wolves’ return match, and they are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Edwards is the current ROH TV Champion.
Richards and Mark start the match and take it right down to the mat. They wrestle to a standoff and make tags. Jay takes advantage and tags his brother back in. Mark hits a spinning heel kick for a count of one. The Briscoes work Edwards over as the referee tries to maintain control. Edwards catches Mark with a headbutt and makes the tag. Richards knocks both Briscoes down. AMERICAN WOLVES! He hits the handspring spin kick on Mark, and Jay comes back with a spinebuster on behalf of his brother. The Briscoes knock Richards down with a double shoulder tackle. The Wolves come back with some double teaming and attack Jay’s knee. After a few minutes Jay avoids a double team and hits Edwards with a jawbreaker. Mark gets tagged in and he goes to work, manipulating Richards into hitting Edwards with an enziguiri. He hits Richards with a fisherman buster for two. Richards fights back with a headbutt and tags Edwards. The battle spills to the floor and the Wolves send Jay into the crowd before being wiped out by Mark with a dive. Back in the ring Mark hits Edwards with a missile dropkick for two. The Wolves recover and hit a double-team Alarm Clock for a two-count. Mark fights back with a snap suplex on Richards but Jay hasn’t made it back to the apron yet so he has no one to tag. The Wolves continue working Mark over as Jay slowly makes his way back to his corner. Richards hits Mark with a powerbomb and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. Jay gets in the ring and tries to break up the hold. Edwards gets in the ring as well and Jay takes care of both Wolves. Finally Mark makes the tag and Jay resumes what he was doing before. Jay hits Richards with a stunner and a boot to the face for two. He goes for the Jay Driller but settles for a Death Valley Driver for two. The Wolves come back with some more double-teaming. Edwards hits an F-5 and a running knee strike for two. He hits a jumping Codebreaker for a two-count. Jay slips out of a back suplex attempt and makes the tag. Mark hits a cross body block for two. Mark hits the Iconoclasm for two. Edwards fights out of the Cutthroat Driver and hits an enziguiri. Richards tags in and hits a couple of strikes and a German suplex with a bridge for two. He takes Mark up top and delivers a series of forearms and then a superplex. Mark no-sells it and they trade forearms. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and Mark shrugs it off and hits an exploder suplex and Richards no-sells that but runs into a superkick and a t-bone suplex for two. All four men are in the ring and Mark and Richards get taken out first, and then Edwards and Jay knock each other out. All four men are down. The Briscoes take the advantage but can’t put Richards away. They hit the Decapitation Elbow but Edwards breaks up the pin. Mark tosses Edwards back to the floor and the champs go for the Doomsday Device. Edwards breaks that up too. The Wolves hit the double team Alarm Clock and the Superkick/German Suplex/Jackknife Pin combination for two. Jay comes back and tries the Jay Driller but Richards breaks it up with a missile dropkick and then hits his super unsafe dive at Mark on the floor. Back in the ring Edwards hits Jay with a hurricanrana off the top rope. The Wolves hit the Powerbomb/Lungblower combo for two, and then Edwards locks Jay in the Achilles Lock. Jay makes it to the ropes. The Wolves try the Doomsday Device but Mark pulls Richards off the top rope with an Ace Crusher. Jay nails Edwards with a reverse rana and then hits the Jay Driller but Edwards kicks out at two. I hate how no finishers are sacred anymore. The Briscoes hit Edwards with the Doomsday Device to get the pin and retain their titles at 26:56. A few minor annoyances aside, this was a terrific tag team match and I always appreciate when ROH does a tag team title match in the main event.
MATCH #15: American Wolves vs. Dark City Fight Club, Pick Your Poison, 4.23.10
The Dark City Fight Club beat the Wolves on TV back on March 1, so this is revenge time for the Wolves. Shane Hagadorn is accompanying the American Wolves to ringside. Edwards is the current ROH TV Champion. Richards and Davis start the match, and it gets heated pretty quickly as Richards unloads a series of strikes. Davis absorbs them and knocks Richards to the floor with a shoulderblock. Back in the ring both men make tags. Chavis uses his power to control Edwards, until the TV Champ comes back with a dropkick and makes the tag. Richards tags in and they double-team Chavis down to the mat. AMERICAN WOLVES! Chavis reverses a vertical suplex and makes the tag. No team has been able to sustain an advantage for a significant amount of time yet. They trade control back and forth, with the Wolves trying to outmaneuver their more powerful opponents, and the DCFC using that power to subdue the Wolves. Richards gets worn down for a while, leaving Edwards to battle both Davis and Chavis on his own. I’ll say this: they’re definitely doing everything they can to get Eddie Edwards over as a singles threat. When Richards has recovered, the Wolves viciously target Chavis’s leg. Edwards locks Chavis in the Achilles Lock. Richards tries a slingshot dive on Davis but misses and gets tossed into the crowd. Davis gets in the ring to break up the hold and then hit Edwards with a modified Rack Bomb. The match breaks down to a brawl as the referee has lost control. Richards hits Davis with the handspring spin kick, Chavis hits Richards with a Blue Thunder Bomb, Edwards kicks Chavis in the chest, and then Davis levels Edwards with a POUNCE! All four men are down now. Edwards and Davis get up and exchange strikes. Davis catches Edwards with a hard powerslam and a running knee. The DCFC hits Total Elimination for a two-count when Richards breaks it up. The Wolves counter Project Mayhem, and then hit Davis with the double-team Alarm Clock and a kick combo for a near-fall. Edwards locks Davis in the Achilles Lock and Richards accentuates it with a Diving Headbutt, and Davis taps out at 16:40. That match had a different vibe than a lot of recent tag matches, with the two teams just trying out out-hit each other. The crowd got into it and the finish was great. I really like the Dark City Fight Club.
MATCH #16: American Wolves vs. Christopher Daniels & Roderick Strong, ROH on HDNet Episode 64, 7.5.10
Daniels and Edwards start the match. They wrestle on the mat and trade control back and forth. I don’t remember the story or reason behind Daniels and Strong teaming, to be honest. Strong and Edwards have an exchange that ends in a standoff. #2002. Daniels and Richards tag in. They chain wrestle for a bit and momentum shifts between the two teams. Strong and Edwards tag back in and Strong is all kinds of fired up. Daniels and Strong focus on Edwards and keep him isolated in their half of the ring. Richards gets a tag but Strong immediately blasts him with a dropkick to the face. The Wolves use some creative teamwork to take the advantage. Edwards and Richards wear Strong out for a while until Strong hits Richards with a gourdbuster. Tags are made. Daniels is a house afire, hitting Edwards with an STO for two. He follows with a Death Valley Driver for another two-count. The Wolves come back with double-team moves on Daniels and start going after his wheels. Edwards locks on the Achilles Lock and Strong has to break it up. Strong and Richards tear into each other as they’re known to do. A backbreaker gets a near-fall for Strong. Richards tries an O’Connor Roll but Strong avoids it and hits an enziguiri and the gutbuster for two. They continue trading strikes and Strong stands there to let Richards hit that silly handspring enziguiri. Richards tries the DR Driver but can’t connect. Daniels tags in and hits the Blue Thunder Powerbomb for two. He goes for the Angel’s Wings but can’t hit it. A series of reversals ends with Richards putting on the Ankle Lock. Daniels reaches the ropes. They trade strikes. Richards hits an Alarm Clock, and Daniels hits a uranage slam. Daniels goes up for the BME but Edwards knocks him down. Strong takes Edwards out and Daniels goes back up top. Richards hits a pop-up German Superplex for the win at 18:47. That was technically proficient and all that, but it just never seemed to be anything more than just a match.
MATCH #17: American Wolves vs. Generation Me, Hate Chapter II, 7.23.10
Max and Edwards start the match. Edwards is all fired up so Max takes a quick powder. Back in the ring Richards takes Edwards’ place and we get first contact. Max slaps Richards in the face and takes another powder. Back in the ring he slaps Richards again and gets kicked in the gut so he goes to the floor again. Back in tags are made and now it’s Jeremy and Edwards locking up. Jeremy tries a slap but Edwards ducks it and unleashes a couple of chops. The Wolves now go to work, with Richards locking on a Texas Cloverleaf. Really? Jeremy backs Richards into his corner and tags Max, who stomps away in the corner. Richards comes back and makes a tag, and the battle spills to the floor, where the Wolves start dissecting Max with kicks. The Wolves continue the beating back in the ring; Richards hits a diving headbutt for a two-count. They continue to work Max over until he uses the referee for a distraction and kicks Richards in the junk. That allows Generation Me to take control.
They work Richards over just briefly before Richards grows tired of selling and he low bridges the ropes on Max, allowing Edwards to kick him in the back of the head. Edwards tags in now and hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Max, and then a running forearm in the corner and a vertical suplex. He goes up top for a missile dropkick and hits Jeremy instead of Max. He then hits Max with a running knee to the head for a two-count. Jeremy comes in illegally and they charge Edwards but both get dumped to the floor, and the Wolves follow them out with stereo dives. Back in the ring Edwards locks Max in the Achilles Lock and Max quickly gets to the ropes. Max rakes the eyes and tags Jeremy. The action is getting quite difficult to call at this point. Jeremy hits Edwards with a high cross body off the top rope for two. He then hits Edwards with an Ace Crusher for another two-count. He goes up top and Edwards kicks him in the face, and follows up with a superplex. Both men make tags and Richards and Max trade strikes and pinning combinations with the Fish out of Water spot. Richards absolutely blasts Max with an enziguiri and a back suplex for two. The match breaks down and Max is able to reverse a Tombstone Piledriver to plant Richards with the move for a near-fall.
Edwards and Jeremy tumble to the floor and Richards locks Max in the Ankle Lock! The referee has completely lost control, with all four men coming in and out of the ring at will. Richards once again locks Max in the Ankle Lock but Max kicks out of it and hits a reverse rana. Of course, Richards decides not to sell it but hit a big lariat first. A reverse rana is a crazy move not to sell. I know, I know, he sold it right afterwards, but I can still not like it. Jeremy and Edwards now trade forearms in the middle of the ring and wear each other out. Richards recovers to help Edwards with the assisted Alarm Clock and then the Big Wolf Combo for two. Outside the ring Richards throws Max into the barricade. In the ring Edwards goes for a back superplex on Jeremy but gets knocked down. Unfortunately for Jeremy Richards gets in the ring and hits a German Superplex! Edwards hits Jeremy with a double stomp to the back off the top rope but it only gets two. Max pulls Richards to the floor and rams him into the barricade. He then hits a twisting overhead stunner off the top on Edwards, and makes sure to have Jeremy (the legal man) make the cover. It only gets two, but that’s a really nice touch. It looks like Gen Me is going for More Bang for Your Buck but Richards breaks it up. They persevere and try More Bang for Your Buck again but Edwards catches Jeremy out of the air! Richards dumps Max to the floor and then the Wolves hit Jeremy with a super lungblower combo. Edwards then locks Jeremy in the Achilles Lock for the win at 21:24.
Richards gets on the mic after the match to beg the fans to cheer for Eddie Edwards. I know they’re trying to push Edwards, but they’re really just ramming him down my throat. He then goes off on about how some wrestling is fake but the American Wolves are real, or something. He also wants to wrestle Kenny Omega one more time. Anyway, the match was tons of fun, and I think Generation Me are much better heels than they are babyfaces, which is odd given their move set, but here’s the proof.
MATCH #18: American Wolves vs. The Super Smash Brothers, ROH on HDNet Episode 73, 9.13.10
Richards and Player Uno start the match. Uno takes the quick advantage and both Wolves get knocked to the floor. The SSB wipe out both Wolves with stereo dives. Back in the ring Richards fights off with Uno and Dos just for fun. Richards hits Unto with the missile dropkick. Edwards comes in and takes it to Uno. He hits a clothesline for two. Uno comes back with a chinbreaker and the SSB take control. It doesn’t last long before the Wolves are right back on offense. Richards and Edwards isolate Unto and keep him in their half of the ring. Uno catches Richards in some sort of Flatliner I think? The tag is made and Dos is a house afire. Dos hits a DDT on Richards for a two-count. The referee loses control and bodies are flying all over. The SSB show some impressive teamwork, but so do the Wolves. Edwards hits Dos with a Shining Wizard for a two-count. Dos gets a schoolboy rollup for two. Richards comes in and the Wolves hit the assisted Alarm Clock. The Wolves hit the superkick / German Suplex / jackknife pin combo for a near-fall. Dos comes back with a reverse rana on Richards. Dos hits him with a half-nelson suplex and Dos covers for two. Dos goes up top but misses a splash. The Wolves hit the double-team lungblower for a two-count. Edwards then puts on the Achilles Lock for the win at 10:22. That started off looking like a squash but the SSB made a fight out of it and it ended up very fun.
MATCH #19: World Tag Team Title Match – American Wolves vs. The Kings of Wrestling, Tag Title Classic II, 12.17.10
The Kings of Wrestling have been the champions since 4.3.10 and this is their eighth defense. They are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. Claudio Castagnoli and Davey Richards start for their respective teams. Richards goes after the leg so Castagnoli takes an immediate powder. Chris Hero tags in and he engages Richards in some chain wrestling on the mat. They battle to a standoff and then Eddie Edwards tags in. Edwards knocks Hero down with a shoulder tackle, so Castagnoli tags back in. Castagnoli doesn’t fare any better so the Kings regroup on the floor. Back in the ring Castagnoli strikes first but Edwards strikes right back. Edwards knocks Castagnoli back to the floor and the Kings regroup again. Back in the ring the Wolves stay in control and Richards comes back in. Tags are made on both ends and the Kings are able to take Edwards down with a double boot to the face. Now the Kings take a sustained advantage on the weakened Edwards. After a few minutes Edwards makes enough of a comeback to make the hot tag. Richards unleashes kicks on both Kings, and then goes up top for a missile dropkick on Castagnoli for two. The match breaks down and the referee loses control. Richards goes for another missile dropkick but Castagnoli catches him and executes the Giant Swing, and Hero adds the boot to the head for a two-count. Castagnoli pitches Richards to the floor and Hero whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Hero goes right to work on Richards, keeping him isolated from his partner. Castagnoli hits an impressive dead lift German Suplex for two. He then turns his focus to Richards’s knee, using a half crab and then a horse collar. Richards reaches the ropes. Hero tags in and covers three straight times for two-counts. He hits a couple of boots to the face but Richards shrugs them off and makes the tag.
Edwards takes out both Kings, hitting Hero with a cross body block off the top rope for two. He hits a Codebreaker off the second rope for two and then turns it into a half crab. Castagnoli breaks up the hold. Edwards low bridges both Kings to send them to the floor, and the Wolves follow them out with stereo dives. Now the Wolves control the tempo. Edwards hits Castagnoli with a double stomp on the apron. Meanwhile Richards kicks Hero in the face to set him up for an Edwards double stomp to the back. The Wolves double-kick Hero in the head and Castagnoli breaks up the cover. The Kings are able to reclaim control on Edwards. Castagnoli nails him with a Pop-Up European Uppercut and Richards breaks up the cover. Richards unleashes a series of kicks, even though he’s not the legal man in the ring. Castagnoli makes both Wolves pay with an Axe Bomber. That gets at two-count on Edwards. Castagnoli takes him up top for a superplex but Edwards fights it off and hits a rana. Richards tags in and tries the handspring kick but Castagnoli catches him in the UFO for two! The crowd bought that one. Castagnoli tries the Riccola Bomb but Richards reverses to a sunset flip for two.
Richards traps Castagnoli in the Ankle Lock and Hero breaks up the hold. Castagnoli comes back with a superplex and Hero follows with a moonsault but Edwards makes the save at two! Hero tags in and hits a running forearm and a superkick for two. He hits a rolling elbow and a Regalplex for another near-fall. Richards fights back with a series of strikes and a big clothesline for two. Edwards tags in and hits an enziguiri and a Tiger Suplex. The referee loses control again. Hero ends up back in the ring, and Edwards hits him with two superkicks and a Saito Suplex for two. Hero fights back with elbows for both Wolves, and gets a two-count on Edwards. The match has broken down once again. The Wolves hit Hero with the assisted Alarm Clock and the Big Wolf Combo but Castagnoli breaks up the cover. They hit him with the super assisted lung blower and Richards turns it right into the Achilles Lock. Hero reaches the ropes. Outside the ring Castagnoli whips Richards into the barricade. In the ring Hero hits a rolling Big Boot for two and then the Death Blow but Edwards kicks out! Edwards gets a small package out of nowhere for two, and then a schoolboy rollup for two. Hero responds with three rolling elbows and finally Edwards is finished at 35:14. Yes it was good but they could have easily cut 12-15 minutes out and it would have been dynamite. Going long for the sake of going long doesn’t do anyone any favors.
Watching all of these matches in a row could get very repetitive, but the good news is that everything except the two-minute squash match is three stars or higher, so from a quality standpoint this is a standout DVD release. I’m not even the biggest American Wolves fan, so if you love Davey Richards and/or Eddie Edwards this DVD should be enough to make you salivate. You can pick it up at the ROH Shop.
Tags: American Wolves, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, El Generico, Kevin Steen, Ring of Honor, ROH