ROH 256 – Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 2 – 24th April 2010
I am loving the retro title for this show. The first ‘Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies’ event took place way back in 2003 and featured a double main event of Homicide vs Steve Corino in one of ROH’s most infamous/iconic grudge matches, and the Low Ki/Dan Maff match memorable only for Ki literally knocking Maff out cold. It’s ironic that for the second time in ‘Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies’ history, it’s Steve Corino involved in the titular grudge match this evening. He teams with Kevin Steen to face arch enemies Colt Cabana and El Generico in a Chicago Street Fight. But this critically acclaimed show is far from a one-match card. Chris Hero challenges Tyler Black for the World Title, Austin Aries and Kenny King look to get back on the same page with a tag team encounter with the Briscoes whilst Davey Richards and Roderick Strong meet with Pick 6 spots at stake. We’re in Chicago Ridge, IL. Commentary once again from Dave Prazak and Joe Dumbrowski
Sami Callihan vs Rasche Brown
After his disappointing loss to the Metal Master in Dayton last night, Sami is really in last chance saloon when it comes to future ROH prospects now. He has a literal mountain to climb if he is to secure a more permanent roster spot – probably needing to beat the intimidating Skullkrusher here.
Rasche is still favouring the ribs injured by The Embassy, and that injury is done no favours as Callihan launches into a wild missile dropkick landing right on them. Unfortunately Sami then stops to talk trash and EATS a mightly lariat from the Skullkrusher. HUGE BOOT sends Callihan crashing through the ropes and to the floor…and even when Sami fights back outside he ends up getting violently thrown into the guardrails. PRESS SLAM ON THE APRON! Callihan sensibly goes after the ribs again, working a spider bodyscissors…then again talks smack and gets thrown ACROSS the ring. More shots to the ribs follow, then a grounded bearhug, holding Brown on the canvas where his size isn’t quite so dangerous. Rasche does eventually fight out and delivers a Jackhammer for 2. Callihan hits a flying splash on the stomach again but just isn’t doing enough damage to Brown. He runs into a Nodowa Odoshi for another nearfall. BURNING HAMMER! Rasche wins at 06:28
Rating – *** – Excellent little opening match here. Sami was tremendous, working the ribs well and bumping like crazy to make Rasche Brown look good. The whole peaks and troughs pattern with Callihan working the ribs, absorbing some impressive Skullkrusher power spots, then getting up and coming back for more worked really well and got loud responses from the Chicago crowd.
Bravado Brothers vs Dark City Fight Club
We’ve seen the Bravados take a couple of heavy losses to current Tag Champions the Kings Of Wrestling. Will they fare better against a team who have made an ROH career out of killing jobber tag teams dead – the Dark City Fight Club?
Kory Chavis starts with Harlem, who somewhat unwisely goes for a crossbody and gets caught. Big elbow smash by Rainman sends him spinning across the ring before he brings in Lance instead. He lands a couple of strikes on Davis before Jon finally snaps and delivers an inverted powerslam. The Decapitation Leg Drop scores, but instead of cover Rainman opts to mercilessly pound on Lancelot’s spine instead. Hairpull backbreaker then an Ace crusher…and when he does cover Harlem has to sneak in and break the fall. Lance gets the tag and Harlem manages to take Davis off his feet with a satellite headscissors. Missile dropkick/Russian legsweep combo actually gets the Bravados a believable nearfall before DCFC start murdering Lance again. POOOUUUUUNCE sends him flying into the turnbuckles. Davis then flattens Harlem with a powerslam…REPEATED HEADBUTTS! The referee has to stop it, awarding the match to the Fight Club at 05:42. Even with the match over, they hit Project Mayhem on Lance for good measure.
Rating – ** – Possibly a little long, but this was the Bravados’ best ROH match thus far. They hit some nice babyface spots in amongst the unrelenting beating they received from the DCFC. The one thing the Fight Club have shown they can do consistently is have fun beating up jobber teams, and this one was no different. Their match with the American Wolves last night seems to have salvaged their roster spot for now – so where do DCFC go from here?
Eddie Edwards vs Metal Master
Of course this is non-title, but after a victory over Sami Callihan yesterday, if Metal Master goes 2-0 out of this weekend, with a victory over the reigning TV Champion to boot, you’ll have to think he’ll be another regular member of the Ring Of Honor roster from there on out. Edwards comes into this one fresh from the American Wolves’ much-needed victory over DCFC last night.
No fear from Metal Master, he quickly wrestles Edwards to the ropes before generously offering a clean break. To the mat next, and once again it’s Metal controlling proceedings much to the TV Champion’s annoyance. Duelling dropkicks next to applause from the fans, clearly impressed by the strong showing from Chad Collyer’s ‘Metal Master’ persona thus far. They trade strikes next, and for the first time it’s Edwards that gets an advantage. Metal increases the pace again with more quick takedowns, then a cross armbreaker. He gets to the ropes and goes back to kicks and headbutts to put MM on the canvas. He gets a nearfall with a jumping enzi kick to the back of the head. Overhead belly to belly from Master sending Eddie to the floor…landing in perfect position for the masked man to dive into a tope suicida. Missile dropkick from Collyer to re-enter, only for Edwards to return fire with the jumping Codebreaker. Achilles Lock applied, but such is the success of Metal Master in this match that Edwards hasn’t done enough damage to get a victory with that hold. Swinging DDT by Metal, back to the arm again with a LeBell Lock. Edwards thinks fast to escape the roll-up Metal won with last night, only for MM to hoist him up for a Jackhammer. Missile dropkick attempted for a second time…that’s a mistake – Achilles Lock again! Metal taps at 10:50
Rating – *** – Unexpectedly evenly matched encounter – leading to an unexpectedly good bout as a result. I’m not sure why ROH needed to use their TV Champion to put Metal Master over (this match was 80% Collyer offence) but for the story they were going for, they produced lots of fun stuff. The crowd were a little quiet for this, but the story of Edwards unable to cope with the speed and technical ability of Metal Master was a good one. The finish also puts Eddie’s Achilles Lock over nicely – as a hold lethal enough to finish off an opponent even if they’ve been dominant in a match for the majority of it. I’m not necessarily clamouring to have Chad Collyer brought back – and personally I prefer the goofy ‘hand the belts on over’ Collyer character to Metal Master – but he’s not done himself any harm at all with two solid undercard outings this weekend.
Josh Raymond/Christin Able vs Erick Stevens/Shawn Daivari
The Embassy will arrive in high spirits tonight having apparently put Necro Butcher out of ROH thanks to that devastating landing on back to back chairs last night. Having, in theory, put that lengthy chapter behind them, remaining Embassy members Stevens and Daivari can now concentrate on getting some gold back in the group – and will need to win some tag matches in order to do it. In their way are the House Of Truth, who will be equally optimistic coming into this one seeing as they picked up a huge win over Austin Aries and Rhett Titus in Dayton yesterday.
I wonder who the fans will pick as de facto babyface’s here. Daivari and Able start, getting involved in minimal wrestling and maximum stalling and posing. Daivari’s physique is crazy-jacked though. He has to be on the juice…just speculating. He distracts Josh Raymond (perhaps with his bacne) and allows Stevens to land a cheapshot on Jug. But two can play that game – Christin does the same thing to Stevens and it enables Raymond to sneak up behind him and lock in the spider armbar. HoT then hit the powerbomb senton on Daivari for a nearfall. Gory Special bulldog gets 2 as well, leaving Martini’s men in charge. That changes when Stevens takes Raymond’s legs from him as he goes for a quebrada. Josh falls out of the ring into the path of some cheap shots from Prince Nana, and now it’s The Embassy dominating and isolating Able from his corner. After several minutes of punishment Stevens takes too long setting up the Choo Choo, allowing Able to smash his face against the top rope and make the hot tag to Raymond. Springboard enzi wipes out Daivari, and is followed by a springboard facebuster. Stevens tries to help with the Choo Choo only to flatten his own partner. F*cking awful elbow suicida from Erick follows that…and it looked so bad I almost cheer out loud when Able stops him celebrating it with a flying clothesline. Truth Martini hits a satellite headscissors on Daivari which EVENTUALLY forces a DQ at 13:21. Nana then crotches Truth and puts the boots to him
Rating – * – Way too long, way too predictable, way too formulaic and way too sloppy. This was exceptional only in its mediocrity, which sounds harsh but I didn’t enjoy this at all. Erick Stevens had an awful match, botching several moves…and Daivari wasn’t much better with several execution errors (including a basic abdominal stretch) his end which isn’t really forgivable for an athlete of his experience. House Of Truth tried hard but they need better opponents than this Embassy duo to work with. Prince Nana is over and rightfully part of the ROH roster. But in recent months Pearce has decided to take talented guys like Rave, Ryan and Claudio out of The Embassy (and Bison Smith is only ever available part time due to his heavy Japanese schedule) and replace them with Erick Stevens and Shawn Daivari…and it’s really killed all interest in seeing The Embassy. To be frank, I just can’t see the Stevens/Daivari team ever having a good match in ROH.
Roderick Strong (1) vs Davey Richards (4) – Pick 6 Series Match
These two met on the first HDNet show of the year in one of the inaugural Pick 6 matches. It was Roderick Strong who took the win there, and I think he’s been in the Pick 6 ever since. These two are former stable mates and tag team partners – and have now emerged as two of the top contenders to Tyler Black’s World Championship. At recent live events Richards has been making noises about coming for Tyler, and that led to him interrupting Black’s promo time on HDNet to officially put him on notice that the hunt for the World Title was on. Meanwhile Strong is still bitter than he hasn’t received the 1-on-1 World Title Match that was promised to him by Tyler Black in exchange for his support as a judge at the 8th Anniversary Show.
No handshake between these former partners – who both come in with vocal segments of the crowd on their side. Roddy strikes first by faking a clean break only to deliver a violent chop to Richards’ unprotected chest. Davey doesn’t over-react, instead opting to wrestle Strong to the canvas and deliver a big kick to the spine. It’s a stalemate there, and that status quo continues as they seamlessly go hold for hold on the mat and get a standing ovation for their efforts. Richards boots Strong in the mouth with a spinning heel kick then makes an early attempt to work the legs with a Strykerlock. Roderick escapes, and nearly counters into the Stronghold before Richards counters BACK to an STF. Struggling now, Roderick wisely kicks Richards out of the ring before pursuing him to deliver a string of chops. Those strikes literally knock Davey off his feet, and with him now weakened Strong is able to start driving his back and ribs into the rails or apron. As a sign of Roderick’s new-found aggression, he applies a camel clutch in the ropes. They go to more AWESOME countering on the mat, each taking a turn to apply a grounded surfboard before Strong comes up and lays Richards out again with a backbreaker. Richards is weakening now, but he KEEPS coming back at Strong with big strikes, including the Handspring Enzi for 2. Roderick nearly kicks his head off in response, then hits a NECK DROP falcon arrow for 2.
Death By Roderick blocked…HALF NELSON BACKBREAKER INSTEAD! Stronghold locked in out of that only for Davey to claw his way to the bottom rope. Strong thinks about one of those apron backbreakers, but Richards pounces to deliver a dragon screw in the ropes. Anklelock grabbed, then countered to a lightning fast series of nearfalls. Richards dragon screws the legs again and locks in the Cloverleaf…but it’s too close to the ropes and both men collapse in a heap. Davey is up first and he DESTROYS Roddy with kicks and slaps…DUELLING ENZI KICKS IN THE ROPES! Richards falls out of the ring, then drags Strong out too for an ELEVATED DDT ON THE FLOOR! Richards wants a count-out win….so when Strong gets up he really isn’t happy. TOPE CON HILO…F*CKING MISSES! DAVEY NEARLY DIES ON THE GUARDRAILS! That is one of the scariest things I’ve seen since Mark Briscoe landed on his head at All Star Extravaganza 3, or Jack Evans horrifically botched a dive at the 4th Anniversary Show. Incredibly both men beat a 20-count and get a huge pop for doing so. No remorse from Strong, he hits the Death By Roderick…only to see it NO SOLD! SICK KICK GETS 2! Gibson Driver countered…Alarm Clock countered…Sick Kick countered…into a LARIATOOOOOOO from Richards for 2. ROLLING GERMAN SUPLEXES! BUZZSAW KICK! Time limit expires…at 20:29, but I’ll let that slide since an extra 30 seconds of this isn’t a bad thing.
Rating – **** – I really liked this. It’s not quite the MOTYC I’ve seen it hyped as in some quarters but honestly, this was very very good. In many ways it reminded me of Low Ki/Samoa Joe from the first Glory By Honor event in that these guys came in with the sole purpose of stiffing the hell out of each other. In truth, there wasn’t much more of a story than that – and nor did they need to be. At times it was disturbing (Davey is genuinely lucky to be walking out of the building after that suicidal tope con hilo spot), it was always hugely exciting and entertaining, and the sense of drama was only heightened by an electric crowd who were totally into this match from the opening bell onwards. Definitely a must-see encounter if you’re a fan of either of these guys. If you’re not, this isn’t the match that will win you over.
Davey takes the microphone to call for five more minutes, but Roderick points out that he has a World Title Match in a couple of weeks in New York, so can’t stick around for more of this…so walks out. Not a popular move in Chicago…
In a pre-taped segment Rhett Titus says he’s going to make it up to Aries for costing them their match yesterday, and avenge the loss he suffered at Final Countdown Tour Chicago by beating Petey Williams tonight.
Rhett Titus vs Petey Williams
As we just had pointed out to us, this is a rematch from Final Countdown Tour Chicago when Petey defeated Rhett – the night after Titus suffered a nasty facial injury so wasn’t 100%. Rhett wants a win back for that, and is under orders to start ‘pulling his weight’ in Team Aries, so is under pressure to deliver a victory tonight.
Petey easily out-wrestles Titus for the first minute, forcing Rhett to leave the ring for a time-out. He re-enters with a nifty slingshot roll-up for 2, but goes for a ‘Sexy’ Samoan drop and gets sent into the ropes for Williams to dropkick the back of his head instead. Slingshot Codebreaker gets him a nearfall. Showing some resilience, Titus dropkicks Williams to the floor then positions him on the apron for a mafia kick to the exposed head. Petey tries another slingshot move, only for Rhett to counter it this time into a northern lights suplex. Desperate to prove himself now, Titus tears off the bow tie and starts pounding away on the fallen Canadian. Choke in the ropes comes next, then a big lariat. Petey’s turn to mount a comeback, dropping Titus on his neck with a German suplex and targeting that body part again with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Destroyer countered…so he puts on the Sharpshooter instead. Rhett gets to the ropes…so Williams simply catapults him over them to the outside. Slingshot headscissors next and that leaves Rhett on the rocks. Titus isn’t done though, countering Petey’s set up for the Canadian Legsweep into a brutal Snake Eyes before hitting a leapfrog Rocker Dropper and a big knee drop for 2. Super Sex Factor blocked and countered with a sunset flip bomb. Titus grabs the ropes to block the Destroyer again, and winds up holding onto them for a cheap win at 12:10
Rating – ** – There was a genuine attempt made in this match to elevate Rhett Titus, and I appreciated that. For long periods, he actually demonstrated real growth as a wrestler as he managed to steer clear of the botches and execution problems that have blighted his career thus far. Although it got messier as it went along, large parts of this match were crisp and clean – with Titus actually reminding me (very loosely) of Claudio Castagnoli in his use of his size as a base for Petey to bump off. Titus also welcomed back the ‘serious Rhett’ persona that he showed us at Glory By Honor 8 last year – and that’s an aspect of his character he portrays very well. So it’s the growth of Rhett Titus as a performer, and the intent to push him with a win here that I’m awarding with my rating. My criticisms come in that, inevitably with these two, there were some sloppy moments. I also wasn’t too hot on the finish. I’m not necessarily knocking a ‘dirty’ finish/victory for Rhett – It makes sense that someone with his relative inexperience would need to cheat to beat an established, television-seasoned performer like Petey Williams. I just think they could have done the ‘cheat to win’ finish in a way which didn’t look so messy and ‘accidental’. It looked ugly, and took away from the sentiment of the match which was to make Titus look good.
Austin Aries/Kenny King vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
Things aren’t going well for A-Double at the moment. He’s still desperately unhappy about losing the World Title, and his relationship with his two protégés is suffering too. He bickered with Kenny King about the reasons for his not being World Champion anymore on the Video Wire – and chastised King for thinking about his own title shot last night in Dayton. And speaking of the Pick Your Poison event, things didn’t get better for Aries there as he teamed with his other student Rhett Titus and suffered an upset loss to the House Of Truth. Can he and Kenny patch up their differences and beat the experienced Briscoe Brothers – themselves still looking for a rebound after losing at The Big Bang.
Aries gets on the microphone to reassure everyone that things between he and Kenny are fine and accuses the Briscoes of drunkenly fighting each other in a parking lot last night. Perhaps the brothers are still hungover as they start sluggishly – first getting out-wrestled by Aries then missing their double tackle on King too. They then collide in the corner in another mishap, feigning a quarrel amongst themselves before charging at Aries for the Briscoe Biel. Double tackle on King nailed second time around and the ring clears as all four men brawl on the floor. When order is restored the Briscoes have successfully isolated King, but fall victim to a distraction from A-Double to quickly hand the advantage to Team Aries. Kenny almost drives Jay through the canvas with a huge spinebuster for 2 then legitimately dances all the way up the aisle to celebrate. They work Jay over until the inevitably comeback sequence – which features Jay flatlining Aries into King’s crotch. Extended redneck karate sequence from Mark to both opponents, into a REDNECK DOUBLE DDT for 2. He gets another nearfall with an Iconoclasm on Austin. Kenny saves his mentor from the Splash Mountain neckbreaker once, but can’t do it a second time as the Briscoes hit the move and score an even close 2-count. Aries fires back with the Heat Seeking Missile on Jay before feeding him back inside for a SHOTGUN KNEE/IED COMBO! Last Chancery locked in but Mark saves his brother and ends up trading kicks with Kenny King – an exchange which leaves both men down. Jerry Lynn Driver blocked by Jay, so Aries stops them hitting the Spike Jay Driller. ACCIDENTAL ROYAL FLUSH FROM KING TO ARIES! JAY DRILLER ON KING! DOOMSDAY DEVICE FOR ARIES! Briscoes win at 14:18
Rating – *** – Most of this was pretty much by the numbers, but the closing stretch was really good stuff. I loved the finish, which played off Aries accidentally hitting a finishing move on his partner yesterday, only with Kenny King doing it him tonight. The Aries/King/Titus dissension thing is an amusing footnote to A-Double’s title loss and, although it was far from a great match, this was a fun way to continue that.
For a second night in a row Aries is left furious at one of his protégés…and Kenny King angrily shoves him right back. Rhett Titus tries to keep the peace and gets shoved over too. Eventually they all hug it out though…so it looks like they’re still friends for now.
Dark City Fight Club cut the same promo they always do. It seems they want another match with the American Wolves after losing in Dayton yesterday.
Tyler Black vs Chris Hero – ROH World Title Match
This is the championship match Hero has been petitioning for for months. He’s been in the Pick 6 for a long time, and now finally gets his chance. Since he’s currently a Tag Champion he also has the opportunity to create some Ring Of Honor history by becoming the first recognised double champion ever (since I’m not counting ROH World Champion Xavier defending the Tag Titles as part of The Prophecy at Expect The Unexpected, or Bryan Danielson winning the ROH Pure Title whilst World Champion since that act unified the belts, making them one title rather than two).
Black gets a much more favourable reaction tonight than he did in Dayton yesterday. As Prazak runs through the history of great World Title Matches in Chicago Ridge, it gets me thinking – in all ROH’s years running this building has the belt ever changed here? I’m struggling to remember if it has. Should Chicago fans be unhappy about that? Even Long Island and Dayton have gotten title changes. Hero comes out of the blocks looking batter Tyler, but is surprised as Black beats him to the punch and actually starts throwing him around the ring instead. Hero finally does land an elbow strike, but is quickly put down again with a rana and Tyler delivers his big Stomp for good measure. After four minutes of that Chris snaps and rakes Black’s eyes. With his vision compromised, now Hero is able to land a big boot to the face and the momentum swings in the direction of the challenger for the first time. At last he’s managed to turn it into a striking match and is able to continually hammer the champion with kicks and elbows…with Shane Hagadorn getting involved with some cheap shots too when the referee’s back is turned. Black is struggling now, going for a desperate crossbody attempt only for Hero to COUNTER to a cravat with big knee smashes.
But Hero isn’t just a striker, he’s a great wrestler and knowledgeable worker too – demonstrating it by blocking Black’s jumping enzi kick out of the corner and hitting a ROARING ELBOW which knocks Tyler all the way to the floor. He then smashes Black into the crowd and amusingly returns to the ring to watch him struggle back into the ring…then sprinting into a sliding kick to the mouth. Things get more intense as Hero starts narrating the beatdown, telling Tyler that he’s ‘not Bryan Danielson’, or ‘not Austin Aries’ – effectively calling him a second class World Champion. That may work against him though as Black starts to fight back. He counters the senton bomb, then the Dislocator before atomic dropping Hero OVER THE ROPES! SOMERSAULT PLANCHA NAILED! Having quickened the pace the advantage is in his favour for the first time in a while. GUARDAIL BOMB blocked…and then Hero avoids Black moonsaulting off the guardrails. Rebound elbow strike of the rails COUNTERED with a dropkick. Awesome sequence!
Back inside Tyler gets a nearfall with the quebrada Peroxism variant but goes to the quebrada well once too often. Black Star Press…COUNTERED TO A CRAVAT! CRAVAT COUNTDOWN GETS 2! But Tyler is all fired up too, ducking another Roaring Elbow then turning it into the F-5. After the beating he’s taken, he takes too long climbing the ropes for the Phoenix Splash and gets tagged with another elbow. They fight in the corner, which leads to the TREE OF WOE DOUBLE STOMP ON HERO! Springboard Lariat is then countered to a powerslam by Hero and all of sudden both men are struggling to get back to their feet. BIG BOOT/ELBOW SMASH COMBO GETS 2! Ligerbomb blocked…BUCKLE BOMB! GOD’S LAST GIFT BLOCKED…BACK DROP DRIVER BY HERO! ROLLING ELBOW! SUPERKICK FROM BLACK FOR 2! Hero goes for another big boot and runs straight into Black’s Superkick again. Hagadorn gets on the apron as Tyler sets up for God’s Last Gift, causing a distraction which allows Hero to line up the Death Blow. BUT IT’S COUNTERED WITH THE PELE KICK! SUPERKICK ON HAGADORN! GOD’S LAST GIFT ON HERO! TYLER RETAINS AT 24:01.
Rating – **** – If I gave ¼ stars this would definitely get an extra one since this was absolutely fantastic. These two have had decent, but not mind-blowing encounters before in ROH…yet this one totally smoked them. They told a story of such depth and quality that it really surprised me. I loved Black’s initial fiery start – which both nullified the Hero striking power AND played into the Kenny King match yesterday where he started sluggishly and let King dominate for long periods. Of course, Hero’s period on offence eventually came, and it was absolutely superb. I know some people bash him for being all about the strikes these days…and those people probably won’t like this one all that much, but personally I thought they worked here. He wasn’t hitting hard for the sake of it, he was hitting hard because he literally wanted to use that striking power to obliterate the World Champion who is all speed, agility and athleticism. Of course there were spots galore in this match, and tons of false finishes too. But this was a refreshing change of pace from the ‘traditional’ ROH main event style of recent years…working at a more old-school, methodical pace and building to the big finish. One of ROH’s best matches in 2010 thus far – outside of the MOTYC’s this is right at the top of the list.
Kevin Steen/Steve Corino vs Colt Cabana/El Generico – Street Fight
The hatred between these four men is growing all the time. It was Colt Cabana who laid down the challenge for this match at The Big Bang after Steen and Corino used a chair to escape their standard tag match on the iPPV. None of these four men are strangers to Street Fights – with Steen and Generico contesting a brutal one in Boston against the Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor 5. In this very building Colt Cabana had a war of a match with Homicide at Better Than Our Best in 2006, whilst Steve Corino has had some of the most violent matches in ROH history way back in 2003 when he fought Homicide in brutal encounters at both Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies (the first one) and War Of The Wire. This could get very ugly, very quickly.
Amusingly Corino has taken the ‘come as you are’ stipulation of this far too literally by showing up to fight in a white suit. Cabana immediately back drops Steen into the crowd to get the fight underway, and they waste no time swinging chairs at each other. On the other side of the building Corino is taking it to Generico, still looking like he got lost going to a family barbecue. Steen joins the fun and HAMMERS Generico with a chair shot before Cabana can help his partner. Back at ringside Corino is stacking chairs, but it comes back to haunt him. As Generico hits a SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT PLANCHA OFF THE GUARDRAIL on Steen, Colt hoists Corino into a suplex onto the chair pile. They all spill into the crowd again, going all the way to the building as Steen climbs a hardcam scaffold. GENERICO DIVES THROUGH THE SCAFFOLD INTO A TORNADO DDT ON CORINO! Then he climbs up the scaffold after Mr Wrestling…IT’S ON! Steen and Generico tear into one another atop the scaffold structure. Steen picks the masked man up for a MICHINOKU DRIVER! That’s the luchador incapacitated for the time being, leaving Cabana alone with both opponents. In a rage, Steen genuinely hurls a section of guardrail in the direction of the fans, evoking some awesome terrified looks. In the ring things get ugly as Corino STABS CABANA IN THE HEAD WITH A BROKEN BEER BOTTLE! CABANA IS A MESS! Shades of Homicide now, Corino has a fork and starts stabbing him with that too. STEEN STARTS DRINKING COLT’S BLOOD!
Steen thinks about a moonsault…BUT GENERICO REAPPEARS FROM NOWHERE! HE SHOVES STEEN OFF THE TOP THROUGH TWO TABLES! CHAIR SHOTS ON CORINO…NO SOLD! Finally the King Of Old School goes down leaving El Generico as the last man standing. Corino is bleeding now, nothing new for him of course, but it’s made worse as Generico introduces a ladder and smashes him in the face with it. Steen sandwiched by the ladder in the corner. FLYING ASSHOLE! YAKUZA KICK! Corino eats an EXPLODER ON THE LADDER for 2. Not content with that, Cabana positions Corino and the ladder in one corner as Generico heads across the ring. SOMERSAULT VAN TERMINATOR ON THE LADDER! Better late than never, Steen saves his partner with an APRON BOMB! Colt and Steve are absolute messes here, stumbling around on the floor like zombies as, inside the ring Steen BREAKS A CHAIR on Generico’s head. Colt tries to help and gets POWERBOMBED ON THE LADDER! CORINO SUPERPLEXES GENERICO INTO A PILE OF CHAIRS FOR 2! Steen reminds me of Mick Foley as he stumbles around the ring like a madman, and he reinforces that as he goes under the ring for a barbed wire bat. Generico then steals it. BARBED WIRE BAT TO THE BACK! ROLLING HALF NELSON SUPLEXES! YAKUZA KICK! BILLY GOAT’S CURSE ON CORINO! He refuses to tap…SO GENERICO RAKES HIS FACE ON THE BARBED WIRE! BARBED WIRE BAT CON-CHAIR-TO! GENERICO AND COLT WIN! 20:02 is your time…and some fans are noticeably in shock at how violent that was.
Rating – ****1/2 – That was honestly one of the most violent matches in Ring Of Honor history. I’d put that up their with the likes of Corino/Homicide as one of the sickest matches ever in this promotion. We were all expecting a big, weapon-filled grudge match…but the way this escalated so quickly into a bloodfest was, in a perverted way, one of the best things ROH have done in a long time. Corino attacking Cabana with the broken bottle and fork was enough to turn your stomach, whilst Generico’s crazed assault with the bat at the end (which ultimately led to Corino’s demise) was an outstanding mark of storyline progression as the Generic Luchador has come full circle from depressed, post-tag team break-up misery to a lunatic hell-bent on revenge. ROH’s MOTY thus far, and a massive tip of the hat/note of thanks to all four men for putting themselves through that for our entertainment.
On the floor Kevin Steen looks devastated that his team have lost, and stares daggers through the celebrating Colt Cabana and El Generico as the show ends. As violent as that was, this clearly isn’t over yet…and after the main show ends a bonus feature reveals him challenging Cabana to a match at Supercard Of Honor in a completely deranged fashion
Tape Rating – **** – It’s ROH in Chicago, so of course, this promotion always tries to put on a show for one of its major markets. But even considering that, this was a hell of a night. I’ll admit some of the undercard was a little inconsistent (including another Embassy horror show of a match), but the three main events in the Street Fight, alongside Black/Hero and Richards/Strong were three of the best Ring Of Honor matches for 2010 thus far. All three of them are must-see matches that could viably have main evented ANY ROH show – having them all on one DVD is great value for money and make this a must purchase. Both events this weekend have been REALLY good though – making this one of the strongest double shots ROH has run in some time. I count SIX 4*+ matches over the two nights.
Top 3 Matches
3) Roderick Strong vs Davey Richards (****)
2) Tyler Black vs Chris Hero (****)
1) Colt Cabana/El Generico vs Kevin Steen/Steve Corino (****1/2)
Top 5 Pick Your Poison/Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2 Weekend Matches
5) American Wolves vs Dark City Fight Club (**** – Pick Your Poison)
4) Tyler Black vs Kenny King (**** – Pick Your Poison)
3) Roderick Strong vs Davey Richards (**** – Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2)
2) Tyler Black vs Chris Hero (**** – Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2)
1) Colt Cabana/El Generico vs Kevin Steen/Steve Corino (****1/2 – Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2)