Written by: Bob Colling
ROH Wrestling on Sinclair: Episode #3
From: Chicago, IL
This week on ROH television ROH World Champion Davey Richards defends against former ROH World Champion Roderick Strong. Also, Tomasso Ciampa competes in singles action.
We get a highlight video from last week’s main event between El Generico and Jay Lethal. Lethal won the ROH Television Championship after hitting the Lethal Injection.
The broadcast opens with Jim Cornette introducing the Briscoe Brothers for an interview. Cornette noted that this was the first time he saw them since they had been fined $5,000 for their actions at the June IPPV Best In The World. Mark Briscoe tells Cornette that money could have bought them a lot of beer and bullets. Jay Briscoe doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Jay wants the ROH World Tag Team Championships, which they have held six times. Jay wants to know when Haas and Benjamin will stop being cowards and give them a title shot. Cornette tells them he will not reward them with a championship match. Instead, he will compromise with them. Next week on this show the Briscoe Brothers will meet the All Night Express to determine the new number one contenders. Jay says they just beat them in a street fight, first blood match, and on pay per view. He says the All Night Express are nothing but their bitches! Next week they will whip their asses and they will get a tag title shot. Jay finishes off saying that if you want to mess with them you better man up.
Commercials— During the break ROH World Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin say that they are ready for all challengers.
ROH Focus On segment is up next. This week the video hypes up Tomasso Ciampi who is the only undefeated man in ROH. Ciampi says he is the only undefeated man and doesn’t plan on ever losing. Prince Nana puts over Ciampi as a man who will have championship gold around his waist soon. Ciampi doesn’t have family but rather luxuries that Nana provided for him. Nana says his father supports the Embassy with gold instead of filthy American money. Ciampi says that can’t and won’t aren’t in his vocabulary. “Long live the Embassy.”
Andy Ridge vs. Tomasso Ciampi w/Prince Nana
Steve Corino is on commentary for this match. Ciampi doesn’t shake hands with Ridge. Ridge gets the early offense with a few kicks until Ciampi stops him with a clothesline. Ciampi hits a nice German suplex while Ridge was sitting on the middle rope. They are on the apron where Ciampi chops Ridge, who delivers a few kicks. Ridge clotheslines Ciampi back into the ring but Ciampi quickly trips Ridge down to the apron back first. Ciampi whips Ridge head first into the guard railing! Ciampi goes for the cover back in the ring but Ridge kicks out at two. Ciampi has Ridge trapped between his legs and rams him head first into the canvas a few times. Ridge fights back with a running kick and hits a slingshot ace crusher from the apron back into the ring for a near fall. Ciampi pulls Ridge off the middle rope and hits a running knee shot in the corner four times. Ciampi connects with the Project Ciampi to win the bout.
Your Winner: Tomasso Ciampi
Match Rating: **1/2 It was a competitive match with both guys looking good. I always thought Ridge was a jobber and didn’t offer much to ROH, but he looked good here. Not a bad way to open the action. Ciampi has a sick finisher, too.
Nigel McGuinness is with a fan in front row. Robbie doesn’t predict the winner of Richards/Strong. Instead, he pleads for Kevin Steen to be brought back.
Kevin Kelly hosts Inside ROH to promote the ROH World Championship match between Davey Richards and Roderick Strong. Strong says that he has been the top athlete everywhere he has been. When he was champion people did favors for him… especially women! Richards thinks hurting Richards would be better than having sex. Davey Richards talks about not having his parents around. He was raised by his grandparents where he would watch wrestling on weekends. His family came together when they watched wrestling. Richards gets emotional when talking about his grandparents passing away.
Prior to the main event, we got commercials where Kevin Kelly interviewed new ROH Television Champion Jay Lethal. Lethal told all competitors to bring it if they want the championship.
ROH World Championship Match:
(champion) Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong w/Truth Martini
They refuse to shake hands. Richards backs Strong against the ropes but cleanly backs away. Strong takes Richards down with a drop toe hold. Richards quickly gets up and backs Strong against the ropes again, but this time is slapped by Strong. They have a series of exchanges with neither man getting a shot in and end up having a standoff. Richards puts a modified surfboard on Strong and rolls over for a near fall but Strong counters to put the same surfboard type move on. Strong gets a near fall after rolling over on the hold. Strong begins to chop Richards but is soon met with a dropkick from Richards. Strong avoids the ankle lock by kicking Richards to the floor. Richards begins to kick Strong in the chest several times. Strong stops Richards by ramming him shoulder first into the guard railing. Strong knocks Richards off his feet with a chop. Richards sends Strong into the guard railing and quickly follows up with a running yakuza kick.
Strong drops Richards throat first across the top rope as they return to the ring. Strong stomps away on Richards in the corner. Richards knocks Strong off the apron but Strong knee lifts Richards off the middle rope down to the canvas. Strong rolls back into the ring to get a near fall. The final commercial takes place.
Back from the break, Strong hits a side slam for a two count. During the break they exchange a series of blows with Strong hitting a dropkick to maintain control. Richards hits a nice belly to back suplex to stop Strong’s offense. They begin to trade forearm shots until Richards nails Strong with two kicks to drop him. Richards kicks Strong on the floor and runs the apron to deliver a running kick to Strong’s face! Richards comes off the ropes and hits a suicide dive! Richards hits a missile dropkick back in the ring for a near fall. Strong blocks a t-bone suplex attempt and they trade blows again with Richards getting the upper hands. Richards connects with an overhead suplex but isn’t able to put Strong away! Strong snap power slams Richards but only gets a two count on the cover. Richards nicely counters a back breaker attempt with a crucifix but only gets a near fall. Strong comes back with a kick to Richards face for a two count of his own. They are on the apron exchanging blows until Richards knocks Richards silly with a boot and slams Richards on the apron! Strong rolls into the ring but Richards manages to kick out at two!
Strong stops Richards with a knee lift and a few kicks but Richards hits the Alarm Clock. Richards follows up with a discus clothesline! Both men are down on the canvas exhausted from this hard hitting contest. They begin to trade kicks and chops until Richards kicks Strong in the corner. Strong charges towards the corner with a kick to stop Richards and hits a gut buster after tossing Richards in the air for a near fall! Richards knee lifts Strong in the corner and puts him on the top rope. Richards connects with a superplex and the Falcon Arrow but Strong kicks out! Richards puts the ankle lock on Strong but Strong kicks away. Strong goes for another gut buster but Richards puts the ankle lock on! Martini gets on the apron causing Richards to let go and chases after him. Richards hits a handspring kick on Strong and kicks Martini before tossing him out of the corner. Strong hits the Sick Kick but Richards kicks out! Strong locks in the Strong Hold but Richards counters with the ankle lock but is kicked away. Richards kicks Strong in the face and Strong spits at Richards. Richards kicks Strong in the face for a near fall and locks in the ankle lock yet again. This time Strong taps out!
Your Winner and STILL ROH World Champion: Davey Richards
Match Rating: **** That was one hell of a match! I could sit here and nitpick by saying that I didn’t like the constant flurry of right hand shots as that seemed over kill but when you include the great final two or three minutes that totally makes up for it. This was much different than Lethal/Generico from last week, too. Richards and Strong had the crowd into it from the opening bell and everything just clicked. Best match on ROH television thus far.
I’ll say this was the best episode thus far. But, there were a few issues with the microphones and the production doesn’t seem to be where it needs to be. There is one thing bugging me from a character point. Roderick Strong seems to be forcing his cocky jock gimmick or whatever he is trying to convey as being. It doesn’t seem natural at all. Anyway, it was a good hour show with a fabulous 20+ minute main event.