ROH Richards vs. Daniels 10/16/2010

ROH 269 – Richards vs Daniels – 16th October 2010

It’s not often that a match is deemed so good and so important to ROH at that time that a show will be named after that match. It happened in 2004 when Samoa Joe and CM Punk produced one of the greatest World Title matches of all time (Joe vs Punk 2), a match that at that time, became the promotions biggest selling DVD. It happened again in 2005 when the legendary Kenta Kobashi came to ROH, only to be met by ROH legend Samoa Joe in a clash of the titans which nobody in New York who saw it live will ever forget. And again in 2009 it happened, when Austin Aries and Davey Richards, in the face of multiple detractors and critics predicting the demise of ROH and their main event scene in the aftermath of major talent losses that year, produced another classic ROH Title bout to reinvigorate interest in the product once again. Can the ‘six months in the making’ clash between Davey Richards and Christopher Daniels live up to those three? Not just in terms of quality, but in terms of what they MEAN to the promotion. Will Richards vs Daniels have the same historical significance? Also on the card tonight is Colt Cabana’s final showdown with Steve Corino in an ‘I Quit’ Match, the Briscoes and the Kings Of Wrestling colliding again in an Elimination Tag Match, and a match Kevin Steen has dubbed ‘five years in the making’ as he faces Homicide in a rematch from New Frontiers way back in 2005. This was taped in Chicago Ridge, IL. Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are once again on commentary.

All Night Express vs Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly
If you missed or skipped Allied Forces, you missed the wonderful breakout performances of Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, who pushed Kevin Steen and Steve Corino to the limit in a terrific undercard tag match on that show. They’ve just signed long term contracts with ROH, which is a major commitment to the promotion given that it means they can no longer work DGUSA or Evolve. They’ll want to progress quickly to justify making such a big decision. Standing in their way are Kenny King and Rhett Titus, themselves on a major upwards turn in fortune right now. Even in defeat yesterday both put in commendably strong performances in singles matches. They’ll want to make sure they don’t go winless this weekend and back up their burgeoning tag team reputation with a win over the newcomers in Chicago tonight.

O’Reilly starts with Titus, and impresses everyone by comprehensively out-wrestling and out-striking him in the opening minutes. King and Cole in next, with Kenny looking to prove his team’s superiority and make an example of the 21-year old. Credit to Adam, he absorbs a lot of punishment but manages to fight back and make the tag to O’Reilly. Titus wipes Kyle out with a slingshot tackle, laying him in the path of King’s springboard leg drop for 2. Overhead belly to belly suplex from the ROH school graduate, then the ANX blindside lariat spot for another nearfall as King and Titus turn the screw and give O’Reilly a real working over. Finally Kyle lands some kicks, and traps both opponents in a DOUBLE DRAGON SCREW before getting the vital tag to Adam Cole. SLINGSHOT DDT ON THE APRON BY COLE! He springs right up from that position with a jumping enzi kick on King then joins O’Reilly for a SUPLEX/FLYING CROSSBODY COMBO for 2! Capo Kick/Dropkick combo brings ANX back into the match though. Stereo kick combo by the youngsters, then a discus lariat from O’Reilly for 2. Kenny manages to knock him out of the ring then sprints across the ring into a FLYING BACK RAKE on Cole. SUPER SNAKE EYES FROM TITUS! SHOTGUN KNEES FROM KING! Cole looks done for but it’s O’Reilly that’s legal and he sprints back in to pepper Kenny with strikes. Titus saves and hits a swinging facebuster for the win at 11:00

Rating – *** – Four of ROH’s youngest and brightest stars firmly took their chances to shine with good performances yesterday, and again today they all looked hungry and determined to prove themselves with a super opening match. For such a new team, Cole and O’Reilly (who’d never teamed together before coming to ROH) have real chemistry and fluidity together, and despite looking like two little boys in the ring, seem to have a real x-factor to their work which you can’t teach. Glad to see ANX get the win to continue their little push as well.

Despite being in the main event tonight, Davey Richards is still out here watching his protégé Kyle O’Reilly, and leads the standing ovation for their efforts this weekend as they leave the ring.

Andy Ridge vs Ricky Reyes – Trial Series Match #2
From a kayfabe point of view this makes total sense as, back when he was regularly used by ROH, Reyes had a gimmick of wanting to beat the sh*t out of the ROH students. Therefore putting him in a Trial Series for an ROH school graduate is a clever move. But, the reality is, I don’t see how this will elevate Andy at all. He’s not going to win, and he’s already more over with ROH crowds than Reyes is. Losing to him here will only damage his reputation, not enhance it.

Much as with Cabana yesterday, Reyes doesn’t look to be taking this too seriously and is too much for Ridge to deal with early on. Andy manages to knock him out of the ring with a big ‘right leg’ kick, but Ricky responds with a big kick of his own as Ridge looks to dive through the ropes with a tope suicida. He follows that with a body slam on the floor before bringing it back inside to hit a butterfly suplex for a nearfall. Ridge tries to chop him, and Reyes looks PISSED with that and launches into a vicious knee attack, then repeatedly rakes the eyes too. Again Right Leg puts a few kicks together and actually manages to get a nearfall on the former Tag Champion. Slingshot Cutter scores too, but again Ricky gets a shoulder up in the pin. Strike duel now, and he shows incredible heart in not backing down from a guy who trained extensively in the NJPW US dojo. Ligerbomb from Reyes…but still Ridge won’t give up. Brainbuster from Reyes…and Ridge kicks out AGAIN! Right Leg nearly scores with upset with another kick into a Randy Orton-style backbreaker. Unfortunately that serves only to further infuriate Reyes, who hits the swinging neckbreaker to win the match at 08:49

Rating – ** – Not quite as good as Ridge/Cabana but still much better than I expected it to be. The first few minutes were boring, but out of nowhere they sucked me and a good portion of the Chicago crowd into the story they were going for. Reyes is an experienced pro and, for all his limitations, is perfectly capable of playing a surly veteran who hits hard and doesn’t like new kids, so this was a perfect showcase for him. Andy got a few decent comeback segments too which the crowd were into. I just wish Ridge had some better offence. I know his ‘kicks’ are his thing, but they’re not particularly impressive at all, and he doesn’t seem to have many other moves at all, which limits my interest in seeing him in matches like this.

Reyes gets the microphone to tell Andy he’s not good enough…so Right Leg superkicks him.

Daizee Haze is surprised that Lady JoJo wants more of her after beating her in Dayton yesterday, but is happy to work a tag match with her tonight. Daizee will team with her ‘prize student’ Jamilla Craft.

Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole aren’t happy with going 0-2 this weekend but are determined and confident enough to know they’ll fight back and pick up some wins very soon

Lady JoJo/Neveah vs Daizee Haze/Jamilla Craft
Despite losing to Daizee last night, JoJo actually looked pretty decent. She’ll want to back up her obvious talent with a win over the ROH veteran tonight, and brings Neveah, herself on the wrong end of several ROH defeats thus far in her career, as her partner. Daizee has been calling for more competition in the Women Of Honor for some time so won’t mind being challenged at all, particularly as it gives her a chance to let her top female student from the ROH wrestling academy show off her skills too.

Some dude starts a ‘Bobby Dempsey’ chant at JoJo which isn’t nice, and it distracts her for long enough for Daizee to grab a top wristlock and immediately take the advantage. Together her and Craft continue to dominate Lady for the next few minutes. Finally Neveah manages to distract Jamilla with a cheap shot, causing the rookie to lose focus and walk into a big boot from JoJo. Kevin Kelly apparently spent a lot of time with Fabulous Moolah back in the WWE, so he and Dave Prazak are happy chatting away about how much they love women’s wrestling, even whilst the heat segment from the heels to Craft isn’t particularly exciting or innovative. Eventually the hot tag comes, allowing Haze to dive in with a double missile dropkick to take out both opponents. Regal Cutter rolled into a northern lights suplex gets 2 on Neveah. JoJo tries to grab her from the apron but ends up getting clobbered by her own partner. Heart Punch/Stunner/Yakuza Kick/Spear combo from Haze and Craft gets 2 before Lady makes the save. Daizee heads upstairs for a SUICIDE DIVE to the floor at JoJo…but that means she can’t help her protégé as Neveah traps her in a pinfall to snatch victory at 08:56

Rating – ** – I preferred the Haze/JoJo singles match yesterday, but this wasn’t bad at all. I think Jamilla Craft has a huge upside if she continues to develop her skills. She looks to have a real firm grasp on the basics and doesn’t make too many obvious errors, and I imagine Dave Prazak and Daizee Haze will be working hard to protect her and ensure she gets the right opportunities to develop into a genuine star of American Joshi in the next couple of years.

All Night Express aren’t happy, and feel disrespectied by having to face ‘the new girl with the long hair’ and that ‘little Davey Richards dude’ rather than getting to face one of the bigger teams in ROH. I think their point is that ROH won’t be able to hold them down forever…

Kevin Steen vs Homicide
As Mr Wrestling actually pointed out in the Video Wire, this is a rematch we’ve had to wait a long time to see. These two faced off at New Frontiers back in 2005, during Kevin Steen’s ill-fated first run with the company. He was a very different worker then and didn’t get on well with the likes of CM Punk, who at that time had a lot of pull in who worked ROH and who didn’t. Anyone who owns DVD’s from that time will remember Punk absolutely BURYING Steen on commentary multiple times over. Anyway, Steen doesn’t feel he gave a good account of himself back in 2005, and let the Homicide ‘persona’ intimidate him. Now he has five years more experience, and it’s he who is the established ROH talent now. Can Homicide, desperate to get into the World Title picture, defeat one of the most demented and deranged wrestlers in Ring Of Honor today?

No time wasted here, they charge into battle and start swinging wild punches at each other. Homicide takes some shots then muscles Steen back into the corner to bite his ear. But of course, Steen’s a weirdo in his own right and he has no problem biting Homicide IN THE FACE! The Notorious 187 tries Steen’s own Sharpshooter on him, only for Mr Wrestling to block by biting the hand. As if to demonstrate his growth as a wrestler since their first match, it’s Steen making all the running from that point, able to withstand some of Cide’s best shots and dominate the match for several minutes. That is until the ever-resourceful Homicide blinds Steen with his own bandana, then uses it to throttle him. Kevin avoids the Tope Con Hilo and in frustration Homicide starts throwing chairs and tearing up the ringside area. But again, Steen is no stranger to a street fight environment, and he starts tearing up guardrail segments too, even after Homicide whips him into the timekeeping table. Homicide watches on in sheer confusion as Steen starts fighting a sheet metal ROH sign because it won’t go into the ring for him. FINGERS IN THE NOSTRILS OF BOTH MEN! Steen’s nose is already bleeding, and made worse as Cide starts biting it. Cannonball senton misses…and Homicide climbs the ropes. Kevin blocks the Frog Splash with knees to the stomach…STEEN-TON GETS KNEES TOO! Double clothesline leaves both men down at 10 minutes. Steen up first but finds the Package Piledriver countered to a neckbreaker for 2. Homicide misses a diving headbutt SO STEEN PUTS HIM IN THE CROSSFACE! Are they trying to out-Benoit each other? Cradlebreaker COUNTERED to the Ace Crusher! LARIAT SCORES! BUT STEEN KICKS OUT! Steen blocks the Cop Killa and turns it BACK to the Cradlebreaker for 2. They fight on the top rope, with both men trying to bite each other again. Homicide gets the advantage and hits a super Ace Crusher for the win at 14:54

Rating – *** – So I’ve not heard a lot of good things about Homicide’s return, but I thought this was great, and totally unique. They are both known for being totally wild brawlers, so they embraced their characters and went out there to put on a completely crazy little brawl. Some of it was slightly odd, but it never failed to entertain me. Honestly had they ended with a slightly better finish (sorry Homicide, I’m not buying the Ace Crusher as your finish) I could have gone even higher on the rating. Please don’t let the detractors from Homicide’s 2010-2011 ROH run cause you to sleep on this as it was so much fun to watch.

Homicide gets on the mic to put over the young talent in ROH…and when he mentions El Generico Kevin Steen freaks out and attacks him again. For the second night in a row Homicide is involved in a pull apart brawl which requires multiple jobbers to separate.

Mike Mondo vs Metal Master
Here’s the one you bought the DVD to see right? To be fair, Mondo is a decent talent looking for something to get him over in ROH – a position Chad ‘Metal Master’ Collyer will certainly empathise with given that he was in the same position back in 2003-2005 ROH. Both guys could really use a win here to earn more bookings in the future.

Metal seemingly has Mondo’s number in the early exchanges as he showcases his impressive technical skills. In the end Mike goes for some good, old fashioned WWE style punch-kick clobbering to get an advantage…then promptly misses an ugly pescado attempt. Metal takes immediate advantage by nailing a tope suicida. Master then misses a flying crossbody and falls victim to more kicks, punches and chinlocks. Metal escapes and lands a swinging DDT. Mike expands his offence to include clotheslines as Kevin Kelly oddly calls this match a ‘real gem’. Metal gets 2 with rolling German suplexes into a Ligerbomb. ROPE RUN ARMDRAG from Mondo…then a moonsault press for his own 2-count. Brainbuster from the Metal Master but it’s only good for another 2…so he applies the METALLIC CROSSFACE! Mondo taps at 07:19

Rating – * – This was incredibly boring and basic for most of it, so I was only going to go 1*, then I went up to 2* as the last couple of minutes (when Mondo stopped doing moves you’d learn on day 1 of wrestling school) got a little more interesting…only for Metal Master to go over in an inexplicable booking decision. Don’t get me wrong, I’d actually prefer Chad Collyer to be on the roster over Mondo, but it’s clear that Jim Cornette is high on Mikey and wants to use him – so why is he being jobbed to masked randomers??

Kings Of Wrestling vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
This is a non-title, elimination style tag match. The Briscoes lost a third Tag Title Match to the Kings at the most recent HDNet tapings (I think that episode will air in a couple of weeks) so certainly aren’t in the running for another title shot anytime soon – but this one is entirely personal after the attacks on Mike ‘Papa’ Briscoe and Sara Del Rey respectively.

All four are quickly brawling on the floor, trading shots and dishing out big guardrail bumps. Claudio blocks the Briscoe Biel…only to walk into the double football tackle instead. Soon the roles are reversed though, with the Kings double-teaming Mark Briscoe. Jay tags and walks into a huge elbow strike from Hero for 2. The Kings try to retreat, meaning the Briscoes give chase with STEREO somersault planchas, but it’s a cheap elbow shot from Hero to the back of Jay’s head with keeps the champs in the ascendancy. Big Swing Flash Kick combo gets 2, and still both teams continue to search for the first elimination of the contest. Mark tagged and he, as ever, brings the Redneck Kung Fu. He flattens Hero with a moonsault press but Claudio is in the ring to prevent his partner from being pinned. Sidewalk slam/guillotine leg drop combo scores…but Castagnoli slips Hero’s lucky elbow pad into the ring. DOOMSDAY DEVICE COUNTERED WITH THE LOADED ELBOW! Mark is eliminated at 10:33, with Castagnoli already on Jay giving him the LES ARTESS LIFT ON THE FLOOR! Hero then comes close to winning the whole thing with a Regalplex on him. LEAPFROG ELBOW sends Jay spinning through the air as well, but he still finds a way to kick out. Briscoe and Castagnoli trade forearms until Jay hits the JAY DRILLER out of nowhere and eliminates Claudio at 13:32. Loaded Elbow countered with a backslide…and Jay wins the match at 13:51

Rating – *** – Much shorter and snappier then their previous two matches this year. Whilst I didn’t necessarily find it as good or as deep as the predecessors, what I did like here was how full of workrate this was. It was a flurry of energy and activity from first bell to last, with the pinnacle of the fun coming in and around the first elimination when the Loaded Elbow came into play. I really like these two teams together, and I’m looking forward to their HDNet tag match and, of course, the novelty 6-man at Final Battle 2010 which also includes Papa Briscoe and Shane Hagadorn.

In the back Colt Cabana supervises as a whole mass of people restrain Kevin Steen to put him in a straightjacket which he will wear at ringside during Colt’s match up next…

Steve Corino vs Colt Cabana – I Quit Match
Cabana has gone on record as saying this will be his last involvement in the feud with Steen and Corino. He’s spilt blood and involved in many violent battles, and is now unable to watch his friend El Generico lose himself so entirely to feuding with his former partner turned bitter enemy. Can Cabana settle all his issues with a big win in his hometown tonight, or will the presence of Kevin Steen in a straightjacket at ringside serve as too much of a distraction.

No time wasted by Colt, who comes out with fists flying before going straight to a cross armbreaker looking for an early submission. Nowhere near as fancy, Corino tries to make Cabana quit by repeatedly raking his eyes…whilst Kevin Steen busies himself kissing ringside fans in ‘Colt 45’ shirts. Figure 4 Leglock from Steve next…and this is all in the first two minutes! Colt tries a spinning toehold, then the Billy Goat’s Curse, both of which are blocked by Corino who then leaves the ring to talk strategy with Mr Wrestling. Corino tries his old move the Cobra Sleeper, but Cabana counters to the Curse…THEN CATTLE MUTILATION! Corino still refuses to say ‘I Quit’ and they continue to battle over submission holds until he floors Cabana with a spinning lariat. With him incapacitated he brings a broken beer bottle into the ring and tries to glass him. CORINO IS BOTTLED IN THE ARM! Cabana slashes Steve’s arm really violently, but the former ECW Champion isn’t an easy man to beat in this environment. There’s an odd sequence where, having slashes his arm apart with glass, Colt then goes back to the World Of Sport stuff and starts working Steve’s arm. Clearly it’s worked as, when Corino applies the Cobra Sleeper again, he can’t maintain it. Cabana goes to the Curse…but Kevin Steen rolls into the ring to fight even with no arms! Cabana tries to give him the Flying Asshole and sprints into another lariat from Corino…who then takes advantage of the lack of rules in this match to release Steen from the straightjacket. Mr Wrestling quickly hits the cannonball senton then brings a table into the ring for his partner to use. Cabana is now the man refusing to quit, and is helped as jobbers run into the ring to try to restrain Kevin Steen. Colt gets a chair and uses to hammer both his adversaries…before grabbing the straightjacket and using it to restrain the King Of Old School! POWERBOMB THROUGH A TABLE! Corino won’t quit…so Colt starts carving him up again with a shard of broken table. TABLE SHARD TO THE EYE! Corino quits at 17:01

Rating – **** – I don’t think this is one of the most talked about matches in this feud, which is a shame as I really thought it was great. It didn’t necessarily have the same number of overwhelmingly violent ‘high spots’ that we’ve seen throughout the course of the year, but they excellently captured the essence of hatred – and at all times were able to convey the true nature of the ‘blood feud’ between them. I’ve seen some complaints that this was a little one-sided in favour of Cabana, but to me, that was the greatest triumph of this contest. That Cabana, a happy-go-lucky, cheerful Chicago native who likes goofing around and doing his endless European chain-wrestling exchanges, was resorted to hacking at his straightjacketed, defenceless opponent with a shattered piece of table was the perfect way to embody the levels to which this issue has escalated. Totally underrated story-telling…

Colt Cabana grabs the microphone and confirms that this is now ‘done’. All that’s left to do is for El Generico to finish Kevin Steen’s ROH career at Final Battle.

Christopher Daniels vs Davey Richards
In April the Fallen Angel returned to Ring Of Honor, announcing his intent to pursue the ROH World Title and cement his claim to be the ‘best in the world’. But both of those goals put him directly at odds with Davey Richards – a man who’s victory party Daniels’ return ruined at The Big Bang. But it’s taken six months to finally get this match booked. Daniels defeated Davey’s partner Eddie Edwards at Supercard Of Honor 5, and the two have had some skirmishes on HDNet, but for the most part, for all Chris’ protestations, ROH have not been able to nail Richards down to work this match. He was in Japan, then he was retiring, then he was in Japan some more, then Canada…and now finally ROH have got him to Chicago, and we will see the match that has been ‘6 months in the making’.

Richards brings Kyle O’Reilly to ringside with him, which I guess is a formal acknowledgement of the whole ‘Team Richards’ thing. The opening minutes establish just how evenly matched they are, with both men having to fight tooth and nail to lock in each and every hold they go for. In the end it’s Richards that leaves the ring for a few seconds to reconsider his strategy. Upon his return he starts to gain the upper hand, initially focusing his attack on Daniels’ arm, and even able to land a spinning heel kick as we approach 5 minutes. Chris looks to increase the pace, and succeeds to allow him to land a jumping heel kick, then looks to slow it right back down with a chinlock. Davey sprints across the apron into a kick to the chest, knocking Daniels out of the ring. Gradually the American Wolf starts to establish control, mixing ground submission holds with the occasional fierce strike. Hammerlock Cloverleaf applied, and even ten minutes into the contest it feels far too early for that to be a viable winning submission hold. It does soften the former TNA star up enough for Richards to hammer him with his first extended kick combo of the match. BACK SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR BY DANIELS! Davey tries to shake it off and go for a tope suicida…and runs into a SHOTEI! ARABIAN PRESS TO THE OUTSIDE! It took that high risk move, but now it’s the Fallen Angel in command and making all the offensive running. He targets the back and ribs, which is a set up for all his major finishing holds of course, but with one roundhouse kick Richards is able to knock him back.

He climbs to the top into a diving headbutt which sees him go most of the way across the ring, but it isn’t enough to put Daniels away. Superplex is blocked so Davey repeatedly headbutts his opponent, softening him up enough to hit the move…and it’s transitioned into the Anklelock. Daniels escapes…AND HAS ENOUGH IN THE TANK TO TRADE STRIKES WITH RICHARDS! ALARM CLOCK! NO SOLD! BLUE THUNDER DRIVER! Both men are slow to their feet, and it’s Daniels who composes himself first to lock in the KOJI CLUTCH! COUNTERED TO THE ANKLELOCK! DANIELS GOES TO HIS OWN ANKLELOCK! Davey kicks him out of the ring…TOPE CON HILO SCORES! Huge score for Davey, but such is the rough nature of his landing that he doesn’t come up unscathed either. He manages to land the Handspring Enzi, then kicks him right on the back of the head in the corner. ROPE RUN GERMAN SUPERPLEX GETS 2! Richards thinks about the SSP, but clearly hasn’t softened Daniels up enough…SHOOTING STAR PRESS COUNTERED TO THE KOJI CLUTCH! Davey gets to the ropes before slumping all the way out of the ring in exhaustion. They fight on the apron – with Richards blocking an attempted Fall From Grace to the floor AND GETTING DVD’D ON THE APRON INSTEAD! Despite not knowing where he is, Richards manages to beat the 20-count and ensure the match continues. PALM STRIKES! Davey falls out of the ring…then marches back in again. PALM STRIKE DUEL! ANGEL’S WINGS! RICHARDS KICKS OUT! BME COUNTERED TO THE ANKLELOCK! KICK DUEL! LARIATOOOO FROM DAVEY! BUZZSAW KICK FOR 2! DR DRIVER! 2 AGAIN! ANKLELOCK! DANIELS FIGHTS IT…STRYKERLOCK INSTEAD! DANIELS TAPS! Richards gets the win at 28:42

Rating – ****1/2 – I can’t say that the top-to-bottom strength of ROH’s roster is as good as it was in the ‘glory years’, but in terms of MOTYC’s (particularly at main event level) ROH has been cranking them out with greater regularity in 2010 than I can remember them doing in many years gone by. This was another outstanding match. I don’t think it quite had the psychological depth of Tyler/Davey from Death Before Dishonor (yes, I mean that), the emotion of Tyler/Aries from the 8th Anniversary, the sheer entertainment value of Tyler/Roderick from Supercard Of Honor, the flawless execution of Kings/Machine Guns from the same show or the incredible violence of the Steen/Corino vs Generico/Cabana war in Chicago…but this was undoubtedly another top notch effort. For 30-minutes these two tore each other to shreds. They didn’t go for any overly intricate stories – this was just two athletes, supposedly at the peak of their games and vying to be the ‘best in the world’ trying to one-up and best each other. The initial, ‘evenly matched’ opening 10 minutes passed without incident, but then gave way to a sensational 20 minutes of unrelenting madness. This was Davey’s ROH sensibilities and physicality combined with Daniels’ experience and penchant for producing wonderful high-spot based junior heavyweight matches honed through years of working in TNA, New Japan, Michinoku Pro and being one of the premier wrestlers on the US independent scene since the late 90’s. By naming the event ‘Richards vs Daniels’ we were effectively promised a big time main event, and they delivered. If you’re not a fan of Davey or Daniels, I don’t think this will convince you otherwise – but if you can look past a bit of no-selling, a few silly kick-outs and a couple of contrived counter spots you will LOVE it.

Both men embrace after that stellar effort. They exchange pleasantries on the mic, then leave to prepare for their respective World Title shots – with Daniels facing Strong in Canada and Davey awaiting the winner at Final Battle 2010.

Tape Rating – *** – This show was a bit of a mixed bag. It started and ended well and had a couple of entertaining matches in the middle too – but there’s a lot of filler that drags it down. The Mondo/Metal match, Ridge/Reyes and the Women Of Honor all have zero rewatch value and hurt the momentum of a show. Bot focusing on the positives, Cole and O’Reilly deliver another fun little tag match in an enterprising debut weekend for their team, Homicide had what is reportedly one of the best matches from his 2010/11 ROH return, you get the end of Cabana and Corino’s involvement in the ‘feud of the year’ too (although they still have HDNet matches to air) and a good, albeit underwhelming addition to the Kings/Briscoes issue too. And that’s before you get to the main event. I’m not sure whether it was good, or significant enough to earn ‘name a show after this match’ status. BUT, in a year of superb main events in Ring Of Honor, this one certainly stands out as one of the better ones. If you’re used to seeing Daniels have ‘good’ matches in TNA and want to see how good he is when he’s allowed to work with no limits or restrictions – this match is a hell of an example.

Top 3 Matches
3) Homicide vs Kevin Steen (***)
2) Colt Cabana vs Steve Corino (****)
1) Davey Richards vs Christopher Daniels (****1/2)

Top 5 Allied Forces/Richards vs Daniels Weekend Matches
5) Jay Briscoe vs Rhett Titus (*** – Allied Forces)
4) Kevin Steen/Steve Corino vs Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly (**** – Allied Forces)
3) Colt Cabana vs Steve Corino (**** – Richards vs Daniels)
2) Kings Of Wrestling vs Christopher Daniels/Davey Richards (**** – Allied Forces)
1) Davey Richards vs Christopher Daniels (****1/2 – Richards vs Daniels)

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