Richmond Raceway Complex – Richmond, Virginia – Friday, January 14, 2011
We open backstage with ROH Television Champion Christopher Daniels cutting a promo about tonight’s big eight-man tag team match.
That segues to an in-ring interview segment, in which ROH World Champion Roderick Strong comes out to brag about retaining his title at Final Battle over Davey Richards. Christopher Daniels comes out to cut him off and they get into an argument that leads to an impromptu Champion versus Champion match.
Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Non Title Champion vs. Champion – World Champion Roderick Strong vs. World TV Champion Christopher Daniels
Strong takes a cheap shot to start the match and Daniels quickly fights back. Both guys slug away at each other and Daniels takes the first advantage. Daniels knocks Strong to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Out on the floor Strong is able to take control and he rams Daniels’s back into the ring apron. Back in the ring Strong gets a one-count but continues to press the advantage. Strong works the back but also throws in some heel tactics to make sure the crowd is against him tonight. He goes for the Stronghold but Daniels reverses to a cradle for two. Strong cuts Daniels off with a clothesline before he can get any momentum going. He uses a chinlock but Daniels is able to power out of it and counters a backbreaker with an armdrag. Daniels now is able to unleash a flurry of offense but both men collide in a cross body block attempt and they’re down. They rise and trade shots until the Kings of Wrestling run in to try and convince them to stop fighting. Claudio tries to reason with Strong while Hero talks to Daniels, who throws Hero to the floor and traps Strong in an O’Connor Roll with a bridge to get the win at 8:07. That was a fun little sprint but it seems like ROH would do more with a champion versus champion match than just throw it out there like that.
MATCH #2: The Bravado Brothers vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge & Grizzly Redwood
Redwood and Harlem start the match with some basic back and forth. Harlem takes first control and tags his brother Lance for some double-teaming. Redwood is able to respond with a tag of his own and Ridge immediately looks for kicks. Ridge is forced to fight off both Bravado brothers and can’t keep it up, as the Bravados hit a double-team neckbreaker. They continue to work Ridge over, using frequent tags to keep the fresh man in the ring. Ridge fights back with a kick on Harlem and makes the tag. Redwood is a house afire, unleashing a flurry of offense on both brothers. Lance cuts him off with a German Suplex and Harlem covers for two. Harlem and Redwood fight up on the top rope and Redwood knocks him down. Ridge comes in from out of nowhere with a hard knee to the face. Redwood follows with a seated senton off the top rope for two. Ridge tags back in and Harlem hits him with a dropkick. Redwood then hits Harlem with a tornado DDT. Lance hits Redwood with a sitout powerbomb. He rolls Ridge up for two but then runs right into a Superkick and Ridge gets the pin at 8:43. That was a decent little match where everyone got to show off their stuff. The Bravados would go on to get much better.
Earlier Tonight – Mike Bennett, wearing a winter hat but no shirt (makes no sense), mentions that Brutal Bob isn’t with him tonight because he’s training back in Boston. He says that tonight is his night, and that 2011 will be his year.
MATCH #3: Adam Cole vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett
This is early in both men’s ROH careers. Bennett acts like a jerk early on and gets confident, so Cole makes him pay for it with a flurry of offense. Cole dropkicks Bennett to the floor and mocks him. Back in the ring Bennett continues trying to cheat but Cole is ready for him and keeps up the quick pace. Bennett backdrops Cole to the apron and then knocks him into the guardrail. Out on the floor, Bennett kneelifts Cole right into the barricade. Back in the ring Bennett continues to work the back. Cole fights back with a big superkick and both men are down. Back on their feet Cole goes on offense, keeping Bennett off his game. Cole this a big DDT for a two-count. He backdrops Bennett to the floor and then follows him out with a dive. The crowd is into it. Cole hits an enziguiri from the floor, and then gets back in the ring with a cross body block off the top rope for two. Bennett tries to fight back but Cole cuts him off with a Sleeper but Bennett breaks it. Cole tries another superkick but Bennett catches it and hits a spinebuster for two. Bennett blocks a hurricanrana by hitting a Buckle Bomb and then follows up with the Box Office Smash to get the win at 11:32. Cole was already showing flashes of awesomeness and Bennett was pretty solid here.
The Kings of Wrestling Call Out Davey Richards and El Generico
The ROH World Tag Team Champions make their way out flanked by Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn. Chris Hero reasons that since his partners Roderick Strong and Christopher Daniels already wrestled tonight, that Davey Richards and El Generico should wrestle each other. Richards says that his team doesn’t have an ego problem, so they will not be fighting each other. Hero doesn’t like that, so he hits Richards with a forearm to the back of the head and Claudio Castagnoli hits Generico with a release German Suplex. The Briscoes then come out to make the save.
MATCH #4: Homicide vs. Rhett Titus
This has train wreck written all over it. Titus rubs his balls and then shoves his hand in Homicide’s face, angering the Notorious 187. They quickly spill to the floor and that’s where Homicide shines. Titus throws Homicide back in the ring and then foolishly turns his back on him and gets hit with a Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring they just trade strikes back and forth with little rhyme or reason. I’m sorry but I’m having trouble getting interested in this. Titus takes over and starts working the midsection. Homicide fights back and a series of reversals ends with Titus hitting a sloppy Fame-Ass-Er for two. They take the battle to the top rope and Titus pushes Homicide down and follows him with double knees to the chest. Both men rise to their feet and Homicide hits a headbutt that busts Titus open and it looks pretty nasty. Homicide hits a brainbuster (sort of) to get the pin at 12:14. Titus hadn’t hit his stride as a worker yet and Homicide was just brutal to watch in 2011.
Backstage – Titus is a bloody mess, but it doesn’t bother him. He says the blood unleashes his killer instinct, and that he’s not done with Homicide.
MATCH #5: Steve Corino vs. Caleb Konley
Corino cuts a promo before the match, admitting that his actions of the past have been wrong; especially what he did to Kevin Steen in 2010. He says his rehab starts tonight and he wants to have a match with a youngster named Caleb Konley tonight. They start with some back and forth, and Konley acts like a jerk, slapping Corino across the face. Corino almost uses a closed fist but stops himself and decides to use armdrags instead. He almost uses the thumb in the bum but decides against that too. Konley gets a bit of offense in, using the dirty tactics that Corino chooses not to. Corino hits Colby Shock for two. He goes for the Eternal Dream but Konley avoids it and hits a sloppy SOS for two. Konley follows with a tornado DDT for another two-count. Corino comes back and hits a lariat and then connects on the Eternal Dream but doesn’t cover right away so Konley kicks out. Konley hits a low blow. It doesn’t seem to affect Corino though, who puts on an abdominal stretch and teases the Thumb in the Bum but instead uses a guillotine cradle to get the pin at 6:34. I get the point of the match but it was just all back and forth with no real internal story. Konley does little for me.
Earlier Tonight – Caprice Coleman was backstage singing about his second opportunity in Ring of Honor. He’s facing Colt Cabana tonight and he’s excited about it.
MATCH #6: Colt Cabana vs. Caprice Coleman
These two actually met way back at Do or Die III in the summer of 2004. I appreciate Dave Prazak pointing that out. This should be a nice athletic contest. That’s exactly what we get in the early going until Cabana goes to the floor to ask some kid for advice. The kid advises that Cabana punch him. Instead of that they engage in some amateur wrestling. Coleman actually dominates that, much to Cabana’s chagrin, so he takes a powder. Back in the ring they exchange more holds and Coleman gets knocked to the floor. Coleman kicks Cabana in the head and comes back in with a slingshot senton and then a legdrop for two. Cabana comes back with a modified version of the Air Raid Crash. Both men get back to their feet and trade strikes. Cabana wins that battle and hits the Stroke for two. He goes for the Flying Apple but Coleman avoids it and hits a flying headscissors for two. Coleman goes for a Frog Splash and hits nothing but knees and Cabana rolls him up for the win at 10:16. That was fun (though the same old from Cabana) and I can see why Coleman would get invited back after that.
MATCH #7: Kenny King vs. Kyle O’Reilly
These are two of ROH’s rising stars. They trade moves back and forth and King takes an early powder. Back in the ring O’Reilly immediately goes to work on the arm, locking in a Cross Armbreaker. King gets to the ropes but O’Reilly continues the assault. O’Reilly then runs right into a spinebuster and King gets a two-count. King works him over briefly but O’Reilly comes back with kicks. O’Reilly knocks King to the floor and follows him out with a running dropkick off the ring apron. Back in the ring O’Reilly hits a DDT for two and then goes back to the arm. Once again King reaches the ropes. O’Reilly lands a kick to the head but King comes back with an atomic drop and a spin kick of his own. King hits the shotgun knees to the back for two, but the referee catches him with his feet on the ropes. He hits another kick but O’Reilly spins into a big clothesline and both men are down. They rise to their feet and try to out-strike each other. O’Reilly grabs a t-bone suplex and King responds with one of his own, adding a bridge for a two-count. King puts on a single leg crab but O’Reilly reaches the ropes. He goes for the Coronation but O’Reilly rolls through it and puts on a triangle choke accentuated with elbow strikes. King powers out of that and hits the Royal Flush to get the win at 12:20. These two definitely worked well together and at this point the right guy definitely went over.
Backstage – Steve Corino gets a word with O’Reilly, giving him props for his match tonight and saying he’s excited for his future. O’Reilly thanks him but doesn’t look particularly impressed.
MATCH #8: ROH Champions vs. ROH All Stars – World Champion Roderick Strong, World TV Champion Christopher Daniels & World Tag Team Champions The Kings of Wrestling vs. Davey Richards, El Generico & The Briscoe Brothers
Richards and Daniels are set to start the match. Strong and the Kings believe that Daniels is the weak link on their team and they treat him as such. They have a sportsmanlike exchange before Daniels tags Claudio into the match. Richards responds by tagging Mark. Moments later Hero and Generico tag in. Next up are Strong and Jay, so everyone has gotten a chance to show off in the early going. Strong does his best to avoid Richards, who he just beat at Final Battle 2009. Claudio asks Richards for a test of strength, and Richards asks referee Paul Turner if he can stand on his back to reach. That’s really stupid. That goes nowhere and Hero and Mark tag back in. Neither team has gotten a real advantage yet. Moments after I type that, the Champions take over on Jay and cut the ring in half. The battle spills to the floor and the All Stars come over to try and help their partner. Back in the ring Daniels tags in and Jay briefly fights back but Daniels cuts him off. The champions continue the abuse, keeping Jay away from his partners. Finally Jay is able to slip through and tag Generico. The crowd goes surprisingly mild as Generico is a house afire. Hero cuts him off and tags the TV Champion. Daniels hits a Blue Thunder Powerbomb for two. Mark makes a blind tag and attacks Daniels with his Redneck Kung Fu. The Briscoes hit a Sidewinder for two. They continue double-teaming Daniels, who fights his sway out of the Doomsday Device but runs into a double superkick. The Kings illegally enter the ring to battle their rivals and offense is coming from every angle of the ring now. Richards finally gets his hands (and feet) on Strong, abusing him thoroughly. Strong fights back with a knee strike and several kicks but Richards won’t stay down. Richards fights back with the Ankle Lock and then turns it into a Texas Cloverleaf. Strong turns it into a LeBell Lock but Richards turns it right back into the Cloverleaf and Hero breaks it up with a rolling elbow. Everyone else gets back in the ring and the action is coming too fast to call. The match spills to the floor and Generico and Jay hit simultaneous dives to wipe out the Kings. A bunch of people then just stand there and wait for Richards to wipe them out with a Shooting Star Press. Mark and Daniels are the first two back in the ring and Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings for two. They fight to the top rope and Mark pushes Daniels down and follows him with the Froggy ‘Bow to get the win at 32:46. That was a good deal of fun, especially down the stretch, but boy did that finish come out of nowhere. Since when does the Froggy ‘Bow finish anybody? And fun as it was, there was ultimately nothing at all memorable here, just a good showing from eight good wrestlers.
Tags: Champions vs. All-Stars, Christopher Daniels, Roderick Strong, ROH