A2Z Analysiz: ROH Champions’ Challenge (Tyler Black, Eddie Edwards)

Champions' Challenge

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Richmond Raceway Complex – Richmond, VA – Friday, August 27, 2010

Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Tag Wars 2010 Block B Final Match –Colt Cabana & El Generico vs. The All Night Express

Cabana and Generico defeated The American Wolves in their first-round match, while Rhett Titus and Kenny King defeated Delirious & Jerry Lynn. Both matches took place at Salvation about a month prior in Chicago Ridge. Cabana and Titus start the match with some aggressive back and forth. Momentum shifts between the two teams as tags are made and everyone has a chance to get some stuff in during the first few minutes. The ANX use some somewhat dubious tactics to take control on Generico, and they wear him down. After several minutes of punishment the resourceful Generico is able to make the tag. Cabana comes in a house afire, working the crowd into a frenzy. Titus cuts Cabana off with a hard dropkick to the face, but Cabana fires right back with a butt-butt for two. Generico tags back in but King grabs him from the floor and drags him out. King throws Generico into the barricade, and Generico responds in kind. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. Cabana locks King in the Billy Goat’s Curse but the referee is distracted by Generico and Titus. Steve Corino runs down and Cabana goes after him. Cabana and Corino brawl to the back, leaving Generico on his own. Even so, Generico hits Titus with a Michinoku Driver for two. Titus comes back and goes for the Super Sex Factor but Generico blocks it and hangs Titus up in the Tree of Woe. Generico looks to go coast to coast but King saves his partner. King hits the Shotgun Knees and Titus hits the Thrust Buster. A weakened Generico is prone to a swinging backbreaker from King, who holds him in position for Titus to come off the top rope with a flying knee. That’s enough to give the ANX the win at 14:11. That worked well enough to make the ANX look good but to not damage Cabana and Generico at all, so that’s a success. It also worked as an opener to get the crowd worked up, so this was a wise choice for an opener.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Tag Wars 2010 Block C Final Match – The Dark City Fight Club vs. The Bravado Brothers

Jon Davis and Kory Chavis beat Shawn Daivari & Mr. Ernesto Osiris on the August 2 edition of ROH on HDNet, while Harlem & Lance Bravado beat The Super Smash Brothers in a match that was taped for TV on July 17 but was never broadcasted for whatever reason. The Bravados dropkick their much larger opponents off the apron before they can even enter the ring, and then wipe them out with dives. Back in the ring Davis is able to catch Harlem with a powerslam, and the DCFC is in control. Davis and Chavis use their size and power advantage to keep Harlem away from his brother. After a couple minutes of punishment, Harlem is able to get a boot up on a charge in the corner. Harlem lands a dropkick and is able to make the hot tag. Lance comes in a house afire. The Bravados double-team Chavis and knock Davis to the apron but they still can’t score a pin. Lance hits a senton and Harlem follows with a frog splash but Davis breaks up that cover. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. Davis powerbombs Lance across his own brother’s back. The DCFC hit Lance with Project Mayhem, and then finish Harlem with a pop-up powerbomb/neckbreaker combo at 6:03. That was a solid little power versus speed match up, even if the result was never in question.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #3: Tag Wars 2010 Block A Final Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Embassy

The Briscoes beat The House of Truth (Christin Able & Josh Raymond) and Necro Butcher & Erick Stevens beat Rasche Brown & Grizzly Redwood back at Salvation. Tonight Prince Nana is stepping in for Stevens, who is having travel difficulties. Necro and Mark start the match. When Mark takes early control and Necro goes for a tag, Nana begs off. Jay has no such problem tagging in, and the Briscoes are able to work on Necro, who is essentially wrestling a handicap match here. Finally Nana does tag in and his punches have no effect. Necro quickly tags back and hits Jay with a Chokeslam and then pulls him up for a clothesline. Nana tags in and puts the boots to Jay, who once again reminds Nana that his strikes mean nothing to him. Luckily Nana is able to make the tag. Necro socks Jay in the face with a knockout punch, and then delivers the bulldog. He tags Nana, who misses an elbow drop and tags right back out. Mark tags in and it’s Redneck Kung Fu time. He clotheslines Necro to the floor and then pulls Nana into the ring. Mark quickly sends Nana to the floor, and Necro makes his way back in. The younger Briscoe slams Necro down and goes up top, but Nana knocks him down from the floor. Jay recovers and tags in, and they go for the Doomsday Device but Necro catches Mark with a punch to the face, and then traps Jay in a victory roll for two. Jay gets up and drills Necro with a superkick and then hits the Jay Driller to get the pin at 7:37. That was mildly amusing to have Nana in there, and they made the best out of not having Stevens there as planned.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Special Challenge Match – Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen

Steen tells Richards that his favorite moment in his entire career was breaking Eddie Edwards’s arm in 2009 just before Ladder War II. Richards attacks right away and away we go. They go to the floor and Richards hits the running kick to the chest from the apron. Richards is abusing Steen all around ringside. Back in the ring Richards keeps up the assault, keeping Steen on the mat. Steen goes back to the floor and is able to catch Richards with a powerbomb on the edge of the ring frame. Now Steen is in control, battering Richards with strikes. Back in the ring Steen goes to work. Steen focuses on the arm and shoulder, working on it both in and out of the ring. Richards fights back and kicks Steen off the apron and into the barricade. He follows with a sick suicide dive that wipes out Steen and lands himself in the crowd. Back in the ring Richards hits a missile dropkick. They trade strikes and Richards hits the handspring enziguiri for two. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock. Steen kicks Richards through the ropes to the floor. He drops Richards in the corner and delivers the Cannonball for a two-count. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver but Richards avoids it and hits a Saito Suplex. Richards tries to capitalize but Steen catches him in a release German Suplex and then locks on the Crippler Crossface, which Richards counters to the Ankle Lock. Whew. Steen kicks his way out of that but then gets kicked across the chest. Richards goes up top but misses the diving headbutt. Steen puts the Crossface on again and Richards reaches the ropes. Richards knocks Steen down from the top rope and they take turns spitting on each other. Steen headbutts Richards down and misses a moonsault. Richards unleashes a flurry of strikes and hits a bridging German Suplex for two. Steen spits on Richards again and surprises him with the Package Piledriver! Richards kicks out, which I hate. That move should be unbeatable. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver again but Richards avoids it and hits a knockout kick. Richards unleashes Kawada Kicks and lands a knockout kick to the head to get the pin at 18:08. These two have good chemistry together but with nothing specifically on the line it didn’t quite live up to their later matches.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: Bobby Dempsey & Cedric Alexander vs. Caleb Konley & Jake Manning

Dempsey and Manning start it off, and Dempsey immediately throws his weight around. Manning complains that Dempsey pulled on his gear, which he very obviously didn’t. Dempsey stay sin control and makes the tag. Alexander executes a nice headscissors but Manning fires back with a forearm to the face. Konley tags in and goes after Alexander’s arm. The pace quickens between the two better athletes of their respective teams and Alexander lands a nice dropkick. Manning rescues his partner from a charge in the corner, and Konley takes advantage. Konley and Manning work together to keep Alexander away from his partner. Eventually Alexander hits Konley with a desperation jawbreaker and he’s able to make the tag. Dempsey comes in a house afire, hitting Konley with a bridging Fallaway Slam for two. He hits Manning with a dropkick and the straps come down. Konley stumbles right into a Death Valley Driver and Dempsey gets the pin at 7:11. That was perfectly solid for a post-intermission match, and Alexander was the clear standout so it makes sense that he’s the biggest start amongst these four today.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: The Kings of Wrestling Open Challenge

Chris Hero and Claudio have Shane Hagadorn in their corner. Hero gets on the mic and insults the crowd as he lets them know the Kings have an open challenge out there tonight. He challenges anyone from the back and the call is answered by local team The Set, made up of J-Sin and Lance Lude. These two teams faced each other back at the Civil Warfare preshow in May. The fans love The Set.

The Kings disrespect the hometown boys and get attacked for it, and away we go. J-Sin and Lude are motivated and actually control the opening minutes of this open challenge. Hero and Castagnoli try to regroup on the floor but J-Sin backdrops Lude onto the Kings to wipe them out. Back in the ring the Set badly miscalculate on a double-team maneuver and it’s time for the Champs to take control. Hero and Castagnoli isolate Lude and wear him down, and seem to enjoy themselves. Castagnoli in particular executes a number of ridiculous feats of strength with the diminutive Lude. After several minute sof punishment Lude is able to crawl over to his corner and make the hot tag. J-Sin is all fired up and he dumps Castagnoli to the floor. He hits a neckbreaker that sends Hero reeling to the outside as well. Back in the ring Castagnoli begs off, which is just a ridiculous sight. Lude tries to take Hero out on the floor but Hero catches him and powerbombs him directly into the ring post! That’s awesome. Lude is done and gets taken to the back. The Kings fire up and retake control on J-Sin in the ring. This goes on for approximately forever, and then Jay Briscoe decides to run out and stand in J-Sin’s corner and apparently take Lude’s place. Eventually J-Sin is able to make a tag and the referee is allowing Jay Briscoe to be a part of this match. Jay is a house afire, and the Kings have to double-team him to slow him down. Mark Briscoe comes running out to save his brother and the referee throws the match out at 13:35. The Briscoes chase the Kings off and send them to the back. Oh my goodness that took forever just to set up a brawl between the Briscoes and the Kings. The match was pretty terrible and should have been a squash.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #7: Steve Corino vs. Jeff Early

Corino is supposed to be facing Roderick Strong, but due to travel difficulties Strong is not there yet so the local jobber is taking his place. Early tries some token jobber offense but Corino is not having it tonight. Corino hits Colby Shock and continues to abuse the local youngster. He finishes the poor guy with a lariat and the Eternal Dream at 2:45. That was a fine squash.
Rating: ½*

Corino dumps the kid to the floor and then gets on the mic to put himself over. He hits on a chick in the crowd and says he’ll show her a little “Boom-Boom,” which brings Colt Cabana charging out. Cabana wants to fight Corino right now and Corino is all for it. Corino has a chain around his fist and is able to drop Cabana like a sack of garbage. He taunts Cabana and then Roderick Strong’s music hits, and he’s here! Strong charges to the ring in his street clothes and his match is on.

MATCH #8: Roderick Strong vs. Steve Corino

Strong comes in from the crowd, yet they’re still able to play his music. Either way, Strong is all fired up and he throws Corino to the floor for some punishment. Back in the ring Strong continues to unload on Corino, who had said multiple times that he only wrestles once a night. Referee Paul Turner stands in the worst place possible and gets taken out by Strong. Corino kicks Strong low, and then Cabana comes out and gets a receipt by decking Corino with the same steel chain. Strong hits Corino with an enziguiri and the Sick Kick to get the pin at 1:52. Well, that was a match that happened.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #9: Champion vs. Champion – ROH World Champion Tyler Black vs. World TV Champion Eddie Edwards

Edwards has his tag team partner Davey Richards with him. Before the match can begin, Jim Cornette waddles out and tries to convince Tyler Black to put the ROH World Title on the line tonight since we already know Black is heading to WWE (FCW). Black of course wants nothing to do with that, since he’s a man of his word and the contract he signed was for a non-title match. Furthermore, the contract said nothing about Davey Richards being at ringside, so Black wants him gone. That’s pretty reasonable.

They start with some chain wrestling and Black takes a quick powder. Back in the ring the chain wrestling battle continues, with Edwards keeping pace with the ROH World Champion and frustrating him in the process. Black takes a cheap shot and runs to the floor to avoid Edwards’ wrath. Edward is able to control the Champion in the early going until Black cuts him off with a dropkick. Black plays into the fans’ anger about him going to WWE by busting out a “You Can’t See Me,” and that just fires Edwards up. Momentum continues to shift until Black is able to pitch Edwards directly to the floor, and Edwards lands hard. Black follows him out and slams his head repeatedly into the barricade. He takes a big swing with a steel chair but Edwards is able to avoid it. Back in the ring Black continues to assault Edwards with a variety of strikes and holds, keeping the TV Champion grounded. Black gets ready to charge at Edwards, but Edwards flies out of the corner with a flying knee strike. Edwards tries to follow up but Black catches him with a neckbreaker. Black goes up top and Edwards boots him in the face. Edwards goes up top and brings Black down with a super hurricanrana. Both men rise and they trade strikes. Edwards gets the better of the exchange and he goes up top to hit a nice missile dropkick. He stays on the World Champion and goes for the Achilles Lock but Black avoids it and kicks him in the head. Black hits an enziguiri and a springboard flying forearm for two. He follows up with the F-5 for another near-fall. Edwards backdrops Black to the floor and follows him out with a somersault dive. Back in the ring Edwards is finally able to cinch in the Achilles Lock and Black is able to make the ropes. Edwards tries the Chin Checker but Black counters to the Paroxysm for two. They do a short fish out of water spot and continue with the reversals. Black lands a superkick and a Pele kick, but then runs right into a lariat and both men are down and roll to the floor. Outside the ring Black lands a superkick and then a Buckle Bomb into the barricade! Edwards just barely makes it back to the ring before the count of 20. Black is not real happy about that, so he hits another Buckle Bomb. He tries the baby superkick but Edwards ducks it and puts on the Achilles Lock! Once again Black reaches the ropes. Black sweeps Edwards’ legs out from under him and rolls him up, putting his own feet on the ropes for leverage to get the pin at 24:22. That was good back and forth stuff, and with Black on his way out I have no problem with the finish keeping Edwards strong. They went a little long for what they were going for, but with such a short, non-important show leading up to the main event I can see why they thought they really had to deliver. And they did, to a degree.
Rating: ***½

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