For an easy to navigate archive of my ROH reviews, please visit Click RetROH Reviews!
Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois – February 26, 2011
They have a nice little video package detailing the top four matches tonight, which I wish they would do more often. Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Davey Richards vs. Colt Cabana
Richards is wearing sparkly tights tonight, which is very manly. They take it right to the mat and counter each other frequently. Apparently Richards just earned his Blue Belt in jujitsu. Richards baits Cabana into going to the floor and hits him with a dropkick through the ropes and then follows him out with a dive. Back in the ring Richards keeps Cabana on the mat, focusing on the arm. Richards goes up top and jumps right into double boots. Cabana unleashes some offense now, and he’s keeping the comedy stuff to a minimum. He goes up top and Richards joins him but he pays for it, as Cabana drops him right across the ropes for a two-count. Cabana goes back up top and hits a moonsault for two. He goes for the Colt .45 but Richards escapes and throws Cabana shoulder first into the ring post. Richards goes up top and hits a missile dropkick to the back of the head. He follows up with the diving headbutt for a two-count, and then locks on a Cross Armbreaker. Cabana reverses that to the Billy Goat’s Curse, which Richards reverses to a cradle for two. They slug it out and Richards wins with a kick to the head. Richards hits a bridging German Suplex for another two-count. He follows with a swinging DDT and then hits a Falcon Arrow right into the Cross Armbreaker and Cabana finally taps out at 12:11. That was a rock solid opener and it was nice to see all the arm work pay off and lead to the finish.
MATCH #2: Four Corner Survival – Steve Corino vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Mike Bennett vs. Grizzly Redwood
Bennett is accompanied by Brutal Bob. Corino and Bennett start the match but before any contact can be made Bennett tags Redwood. Not much happens and O’Reilly tags in and immediately gets in Corino’s face. Bennett tags himself in just to annoy Corino. O’Reilly boots Bennett to the floor and follows him out with the missile dropkick off the apron. Redwood joins the party with a dive on O’Reilly. Corino teases a dive but Bennett cuts him off with a clothesline. Bennett goes to work on Corino now. They knock each other down and make tags. O’Reilly hits Redwood with the trifecta of butterfly suplexes. He goes up top and Bennett pushes him down and takes his place in the ring. Bennett goes for the Box Office Smash but Redwood slips out and tags Corino. Bennett has no one to tag and Corino is fired up. The match breaks down as all four men are battling in the ring. All four men trade strikes and O’Reilly appears to have the advantage there. Brutal Bob interferes but gets knocked to the floor. In all the madness Bennett is able to hit Corino with the Box Office Smash to get the win at 10:45. That was a fun four-way that made good use of everyone’s strengths.
MATCH #3: El Generico vs. Michael Elgin
Elgin attacks during the handshake and goes to work. This is only Elgin’s second ROH match, if we’re not counting his one-off, non-descript appearances in 2007 and 2008. Generico fights back and sends Elgin to the floor. He teases a dive but Truth grabs his leg to distract him, allowing Elgin to regain control. The battle spills to the floor and Truth interferes again. Generico goes for a big DDT but Elgin catches him and rams him into the barricade! That was cool. Back in the ring Elgin continues to work Generico over, but quickly gets low bridged and sent back to the floor. This time Generico successfully completes the dive to wipe Elgin out. Back in the ring Generico hits a cross body block off the top rope for two. He follows up with a tornado DDT for another two-count. Elgin fights back with a move Prazak describes as “wrist-clutch … just drove him down.” He then hits the Oklahoma Stampede into a spinning uranage slam for two. Elgin continues pressing the advantage, using his superior power. He lands a huge lariat but it only gets two. Generico fights back with a half-nelson suplex and gets two. The referee gets bumped and Truth tries to interfere. It doesn’t really work and results in a goofy spot where Elgin powerbombs Generico with Truth on his shoulders. By the time the referee wakes up Generico is able to trap Elgin in an inside cradle to get the win at 10:27. It would take a few months for Elgin to really get going in ROH but this was a decent early showing.
Elgin continues to attack after the bell, and ROH World Champion Roderick Strong comes out to help his House of Truth partner. Strong then get son the mic and talks trash to Homicide, whom he will face later on tonight for the title. Homicide doesn’t want to hear it though and comes out to run Strong off. He wants to do it RIGHT NOW!
MATCH #4: ROH World Title Match; No DQ Barrio Street Fight – Roderick Strong vs. Homicide
Strong has been the Champion since 9.11.10, and this is his fifth defense. Homicide doesn’t want to wait, hitting an immediate Tope Con Hilo. The fight travels quickly travels into the crowd and Strong fights back. They make it back to the ring and it’s all Homicide right now. This is Homicide’s first chance at regaining the title since losing it to Takeshi Morishima in February of 2007 and he looks to be taking it quite seriously, even using a chair! Back in the ring Homicide continues to control the match, still using the chair and also threatening the referee. Strong fights back but Homicide cuts him off and they go back to the floor. Of course Homicide excels out there, and he throws another chair in the ring. Strong recovers and drops Homicide’s back across the ring frame, which always looks sick. Back in the ring the Champ continues to work on the back. Chairs get wedged between the turnbuckles in three different corners of the ring. Strong hits the Tree Amigos, just to be a jerk. Homicide fights back and starts throwing Strong into the aforementioned chairs. Strong responds with a hard knee strike to the face for two. He brings a table into the match but it’s Homicide that uses it to his advantage, hitting a swinging DDT for a two-count. Homicide puts Strong up on the top rope and Truth interferes. Michael Elgin also runs in and gets quickly dispatched. Homicide then hits a super Ace Crusher and then the Lariat but Truth breaks up the pin. Truth continues to interfere and Homicide hits him with an Ace Crusher. Strong recovers and hits the Sick Kick and a suplex into a backbreaker to get the pin at 14:51. They did the best they could to cover up Homicide’s weaknesses, and putting it in the middle of the card rather than the end was probably a good idea.
MATCH #5: Women of Honor – Sara Del Rey vs. MsChif
Del Rey is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. MsChif takes the first control and lands a standing moonsault for two. Del Rey fights back with a series of kicks. She tries a submission hold but MsChif slips out of it and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Del Rey responds with a hard powerbomb for a two-count. MsChif decides not to sell it but Del Rey quickly cuts her off with a Koppo Kick. Del Rey then hits a wrist-clutch Angel Slam for the win at 3:54. I certainly don’t mean to disrespect the work of the women involved, but how can anyone be legitimately expected to care about them when they don’t get any storylines, are hardly ever used, and get four minutes for a match? If that’s how they’re going to be used, I’d rather just not see them at all.
MATCH #6: World Tag Team Title Match – The Kings of Wrestling vs. The All Night Express
Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli have been the champions since 4.3.10, and this is their ninth defense. They’re accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Hero and Rhett Titus start the match and try to psyche each other out. Titus hits a high knee strike for two and then tags are made. Hero comes back in quickly and the ANX takes control of him. Even when Claudio tags in the challengers maintain the advantage, scoring offense both in and out of the ring. Finally Claudio is able to land a European Uppercut and the Kings go to work on Titus. After several minutes of abuse Titus is able to drop Castagnoli off the top rope with Snake Eyes and the hot tag is made. King is very much on fire, throwing both champions around with ease. Hero cuts him off with a rolling boot to the face and both men are down. Castagnoli gets the tag and uses knee strikes to take King down for a two-count. He blasts King with a clothesline for a two-count. They take the battle to the top rope and King drills Claudio with a kick to the head, and then Titus rushes in with the Super Sex Factor, which gets a close near-fall. The ANX dispatches Hero and then King goes up top to land an impressive Shooting Star Press on Claudio, but Hero is just able to break up the pin. All four men then knock each other down and the referee puts the count on. As they make their way to their feet, Hagadorn tries to pass Hero the elbow pad but King intercepts it, briefly. Unfortunately Hero is able to gain control of it and drills King, allowing Claudio to get the pin at 15:56. That was going along really well but the elbow pad finish is beyond played. Still it was a good effort by both teams and a very good showing by the All Night Express.
MATCH #7: World TV Title Match; 2/3 Falls, 30 Minute Time Limit – Christopher Daniels vs. Eddie Edwards
Daniels has been the Champion since 12.10.10, and this is his fifth defense. It’s also Edwards’s rematch, as he’s the man Daniels took the title from. They take it right down to the mat and feel each other out. Neither man is in a hurry, as they know each other well so they’re being cautious. Edwards takes the first control, keeping Daniels grounded with strikes and submission holds. He hits a Shining Wizard for two. After several minutes Daniels fights back with a Saito Suplex and both men are down. Back on their feet Daniels lands a clothesline and continues to go to work. They spill to the floor and Daniels follows the challenger right out and slams him into the barricade. Back in the ring Daniels continues to work the neck, which is good strategy given his finishers. They go up to the top rope and Edwards fights Daniels off and takes him down with a nice hurricanrana. Edwards takes control but they quickly spill to the floor again as we’re past the halfway point in the time limit with no falls yet. The challenger is able to hit the champion with a running boot to the face, sending him into the crowd. Edwards leaps onto Daniels with a dive from the top rope, like Bryan Danielson used to do. Back in the ring Edwards hits a missile dropkick and a Tiger Suplex, but in an awesome spot his neck is too hurt to maintain the bridge so he has to let go rather than Daniels kick out. Daniels gets a second wind and unleashes a flurry of offense, including the Spicy Drop for two. Edwards comes back and launches Daniels into the turnbuckles with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. He follows up with the Chin Checker for two. Both men get to their feet and start trading chops. Daniels wins that battle with palm strikes but Edwards comes right back with the Achilles Lock, which Daniels reverses to the Koji Clutch. Edwards counters that back to the Achilles Lock, which Daniels then counters to his own Achilles Lock, and Edwards counters that to the Koji Clutch. Whew. Daniels puts Edwards’s shoulders on the canvas but only gets two. Edwards hits a superkick but then runs right into a cradle and Daniels wins the first fall at 23:00.
Right as the second fall starts Edwards levels Daniels with a lariat for two. They take the fight to the apron where Daniels hits a Blue Thunder Bomb! Good for him. Five minutes are left as Edwards makes his way back in the ring just before the 20 count. Daniels immediately hits a big piledriver and Edwards kicks out at two! He goes for the Angel’s Wings but Edwards blocks it. Edwards is then able to cinch in the Achilles Lock and Daniels has to tap out at 26:45 to even the match. With three minutes remaining both men understand the importance of where they’re at. Edwards puts on an STF and Daniels reaches the ropes. The challenger puts the champ up on the top rope and hits a super hurricanrana. Somehow Daniels’s head got busted open but he’s still able to kick out at two. Edwards hits a couple of superkicks but then they both tumble to the floor and look hurt. Only Edwards is able to get back in the ring but time expires at 30:00 before Daniels can get counted out. The official decision is a time limit draw. Despite the fan’s desire for five more minutes, but Jim Cornette rules that Christopher Daniels is unable to continue and the time limit draw will stand. The match had a lot of good stuff in it but was definitely too long and these two don’t have great chemistry as opponents.
MATCH #8: Dream Tag Team Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin and Jay start it off. The winners here will get a shot at the Tag Team Titles on April 1 in Atlanta during WrestleMania weekend. Things get heated pretty early, and with such high stakes that’s understandable. Jay takes control and tags Mark, and Benjamin quickly fights back on the younger Briscoe. Mark and Benjamin wrestle back and forth until the crowd chants for Haas for some reason, so Benjamin obliges and tags his partner. Haas no-sells Mark’s chops but can’t shrug off a kneelift and Jay tags in. Momentum continues to shift back and forth, as neither team can hold an advantage for very long. The Briscoes finally slow it down and focus on Haas, keeping him down in their half of the ring. After several minutes Haas is able to grab Jay with a release German Suplex and tags are made. Benjamin is a house afire, throwing Mark all over the ring. Mark comes back with his Redneck Kung Fu. Jay makes a blind tag and flattens Benjamin with a clothesline for two. Benjamin comes back with the whip kick and gets a two-count. Haas invades the ring and sends Mark to the floor and hits Jay with an Olympic Slam. WGTT go for the Broken Arrow but Mark breaks it up. The referee has lost control of this one. Jay hits Haas with a Death Valley Driver and Mark goes up top but Benjamin pops up and suplexes him all the way down. The referee has no idea who’s legal at this point. Benjamin and Mark get up and slug it out and Benjamin blasts him with a superkick. Haas, Benjamin and Jay fight into the crowd and Mark joins them with a crazy springboard dive into the first few rows. Back in the ring Mark hits a Finlay Roll, Jay hits a guillotine legdrop, and Mark hits a frog elbow for a near-fall. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Haas blocks it and Benjamin kicks Mark off the top rope. WGTT hit a double-team Blockbuster to get the pin at 22:21. The action was pretty much non-stop all the way through and the crowd was hot, but the finish seemed a little too sudden.
Tags: Anniversary Show, Homicide, Ring of Honor, Roderick Strong, The Briscoes