ROH 285 – Supercard Of Honor 6 – 21st May 2011
A lot of people criticised this line-up for not being a true ‘Supercard’, I think largely down to the fact that no external talent at all has been brought in. Even the post-Dragon Gate relationship ‘Supercards’ had the likes of KENTA, Motor City Machine Guns and lucha stars involved. But, considering where ROH was at when putting this show together, and considering they only had their core roster to play with, I think this is a decent line-up. The headline bout is Roderick Strong’s rematch with Eddie Edwards for the World Title. Not necessarily anything special or likely to draw huge ticket sales, but I’m sure it will be a good match. There’s also the Briscoes/ANX Street Fight which received a lot of hype, grudge matches galore with Corino/Bennett, Future Shock/Bravados and Daniels/Cabana, WGTT’s first ever ROH singles matches and more. Me personally, I’d view ‘Supercard Of Honor’ as one of ROH’s big annual events – not as a show that is made or broken by alien talent to the core roster. Therefore I’m buying this event as a big deal even if some don’t. And if the line-up doesn’t make it a big deal, the major announcement that came out during the day of the show certainly was. This event was the timing ROH chose to announce the Sinclair buy-out. It was inevitable ROH would be searching for a new TV deal. History shows us that when promotions lose their TV show without getting another one – they go bust. So when they began hyping a major announcement, and asked talent to show up on time for the show in business dress people figured it would be just that – a new TV deal, relationship or whatever. Selling out to a major company, effectively leaving the independent scene and becoming a mainstream promotion with a forthcoming television show on network television potentially putting the Ring Of Honor product in hundreds of thousands more homes than had ever before been possible genuinely shocked the wrestling world. Whilst plans for tonight won’t change, and in truth nothing about the product will change at all until the first set of SBG TV tapings in August, this is the start of a new journey for ROH – one that will see it become much more of a mainstream product and obtain more support and fans than they ever before thought possible…or one that will end in SBG dropping them and putting ROH out of business for good. Exciting, but perilous times indeed. Tonight a new era for ROH begins – in Chicago Ridge, IL. Kevin Kelly is with Eric Santamaria. Is Prazak done with ROH already??
Michael Elgin vs Homicide
The Notorious 187 has had his problems with the new talent in ROH recently. He lost to Tommaso Ciampa in Detroit and now faces the imposing enforcer of the House Of Truth. Will Elgin score a dominant win or will Homicide start opening the ‘gates of hell’ once again?
Elgin looks absolutely JACKED. He is unrecognisable from the chubby Rhyno look-alike that debuted in Ring Of Honor a few years ago. Homicide goes after his legs and manages to topple him out of the ring…then wipes him out with the cannonball senton from the apron. He tries a tornado DDT but is CAUGHT into a tilta-whirl backbreaker for 2! Oklahoma Stampede blocked, but Homicide doesn’t get close to lifting Elgin up for the Three Amigos. Instead Michael repeatedly rams him into the buckles then tosses him into an effortless belly to belly suplex. Bear hug applied, which Homicide breaks with some Tyson-esque ear biting. Finally he hits the tornado DDT and gets a 2-count from it. Cide tries the Three Amigos again, only mustering one before Elgin drops him with a sidewalk slam. The powerhouse goes high risk and misses a corkscrew senton. Homicide gives him a frankensteiner then the Lariat…but Elgin doesn’t go down! He tries again only for Elgin to LARIAT his arm away! Spiral Bomb countered to the Ace Crusher…and Homicide wins at 09:29
Rating – ** – The match was ok without being overly spectacular, and putting Homicide over here was a horrible decision. Admittedly they may not have known at this point, but Cide would soon be on the way out of ROH, relegated to a part-time talent thanks to commitments with the fledgling UWF promotion. After giving him the Double Danger Scramble win in Toronto, relegating Elgin back to the opening match to job to Homicide seems an odd decision and I think the booking team missed a trick in not putting the HOT member over here.
Cole and O’Reilly have fighting words for the Bravados ahead of their match.
Bravado Brothers vs Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly
Lance and Harlem have been having a hard time getting booked recently. Despite scoring a couple of wins over Cole and O’Reilly (on HDNet and at Only The Strong Survive), they’ve not been booked for shows…although they’ve often blamed that on clerical oversights and shown up anyway. They did just that at Revolution: Canada, and badmouthed Future Shock, bemoaning Kyle and Adam’s lousy won/loss record and declaring them undeserving of the opportunities they’ve received. These two teams have fought on a number of occasions – but never has more been at stake than tonight. Will Future Shock draw a line under the issue and move on, or will the Bravados win the match and effectively move above Cole and O’Reilly in the Ring Of Honor pecking order?
Cole and O’Reilly’s music interrupts Harlem as he is about to deliver another speech about Grandma Bravado, much to the delight of the crowd. Harlem jumps Cole from behind to start the match, so I guess they get some immediate revenge. O’Reilly jumps in with a double missile dropkick…and looks set to hit the apron to floor variant when Lancelot saves his brother. TOPE SUICIDA by Cole instead! Rolling Butterfly into the cross armbreaker from O’Reilly to Lance…but Harlem breaks that by dragging Kyle back to the outside and assaulting him against the ring apron. I’m not a fan of Santamaria’s commentary at all, but he is as dorky as the Bravados so his pseudo heel support of the Bravados is actually pretty entertaining. The Bravados are in the process of isolating O’Reilly so it gives him plenty of chance to sing their praises. Kevin Kelly chimes in by comparing this rivalry to the early days of Edge & Christian vs the Hardyz which is an interesting one. Kyle hits a DOUBLE dragon screw and makes the hot tag…and in comes Cole dishing out enziguris all round. Pescado wipes out Lance, and he bounces right back up for the flying crossbody on Harlem for 2. MISSILE DROPKICK OFF THE APRON BY O’REILLY! Cole gets another nearfall with a Death Valley neckbreaker! Superkick/discus lariat combo nearly wins it before Lancelot dives in to save his brother. Back suplex neckbreaker combo by the Bravados! Round the corner enzi from Harlem to Cole, into a German from Lance for 2! DOUBLE KNOCKOUT KICK on Lance, then the double lungblower combo to give Cole and O’Reilly the big win at 09:47. They could have done with hitting that finish much more cleanly.
Rating – *** – These two teams always have fun matches together and this one was no exception. I’m not sure it was the best, but it was one of the more formulaic which, when combined with the Bravado Bandwagon gimmick really taking off, meant it was one of the more heated. It’s a shame that between Cole, O’Reilly and Lance Bravado they really blew that finish as it somewhat killed the crowd who had really been into it before that.
In defence of Lance, it looks like he may have sustained an injury somewhere in that match as he needs to be helped out of the ring afterwards.
Steve Corino vs Mike Bennett
The King of Old School hasn’t had much luck in his battles with The Prodigy thus far. He’s been on the wrong end of several assaults by Mike and his trainer Bob Evans…but to his credit is determined to teach him a lesson and right some of his wrongs so keeps coming back for more. This is billed as their final showdown so will Corino (still informing everyone he’s backed by a sponsor) get the win or will Bennett deliver another emphatic victory?
The Prodigy interrupts Corino before he can reveal his sponsor again. He keeps laughing at Corino for having no friends and burning his bridges until Jimmy Jacobs runs in to make his first ROH appearance since 2009. He is Steve’s sponsor and is also a reforming ‘evil person’, trying to work his own way back to Ring Of Honor. Jim Cornette brings security out and has him escorted from the building so the match can begin. Corino swings Bennett into the guardrails then recreates the ringbell nutshot situation we saw at Revolution weekend. Thumb In The Bum is countered with a northern lights bomb for 2 though. Mike further pisses the crowd off by teasing a big running dive…then sliding under the ring for a simple punch instead. Side Effect is blocked and Corino starts dishing out running chops followed by the Colby Shock for a nearfall. Eternal Dream also gets 2, but then Bennett springs from the canvas and hits the spinebuster into the Side Effect…also for 2! He tries the Side Effect again but it’s countered to the Thumb In The Bum! Mike rakes his eyes then hits a STALLING PILEDRIVER to win at 09:21
Rating – ** – Pretty much the same match they’ve had every time, albeit it fought in front of the best crowd they’ve had for their feud. It’s a credit to how charismatic both guys are that they had the Chicago crowd hot for this despite doing the incredibly basic routine they’ve pulled for their previous matches at Manhattan Mayhem 4 and Revolution weekend.
Chris Hero vs El Generico
It’s been a rough couple of months for the Kings Of Wrestling after losing the Tag Titles at Honor Takes Center Stage, then seeing Hero come desperately close but ultimately leave unsuccessful in his bid to take the World Championship from Eddie Edwards at Revolution: Canada. At the same time El Generico has become embroiled in an increasingly personal feud with the House Of Truth. This match almost becomes a case of whichever man is better able to ignore the emotional baggage they’ve got coming into Chicago tonight is more likely to come out on top.
Generico makes fun of Hero resembling Thor, with some shenanigans ensuing with a foam hammer. Hero doesn’t like that at all but it distracts him at the start of the match and soon after he finds himself on the deck after a series of armdrags end an impressive, fast-paced exchange. Generico gets over-confident and tries an ill-advised split-legged moonsault which sends his ribs splattering into Hero’s knees. He weakens the masked man with a series of grounded submissions then takes the match to the outside with a series of devastating strikes. Generico barely beats the count-out, and lunges into the ring straight into the path of a sliding boot. The luchador is in spaghetti legs yet somehow still climbs up the ropes for a flying headscissors. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA NAILED! Of all the people that do that spot in ROH, El Generico’s is still my favourite. He heads upstairs again, this time nailing a flying crossbody for 2. Roaring Elbow blocked once…but Hero digs in to evade the Half Nelson Suplex and spins back into the Roaring Elbow for 2. Rolling Flash Kick scores seconds later, and with the help of his feet on the middle rope, Hero wins at 09:05. But the ensuing fury of the crowd quickly makes Todd Sinclair realise his mistake and he restarts the match. Generico NAILS the Yakuza Kick then the Half Nelson Suplex…and now he wins at 09:28 total time.
Rating – *** – Disappointingly brief, as this could have been a showstealing match if given more time, and the goofy finish didn’t do anything for me. However, they’ve had better matches previously so I don’t feel terribly denied…and this was perfectly serviceable, fun midcard entertainment anyway. These are two of ROH’s most popular guys right now so the crowd ate it up.
Charlie Haas vs Davey Richards
Supercard Of Honor is always a big night, but tonight is particularly significant for the World’s Greatest Tag Team as they make their debut appearances as solo workers in ROH. Here we see Haas looking for a big victory over the American Wolf, whilst Davey is looking to avenge the defeat his tean suffered to WGTT at WrestleMania weekend.
Haas starts the match in grappling stance and they go straight to the canvas to work an outstanding little sequence. Charlie has the edge there so Richards heats things up, hitting the ropes a few times then driving his opponent out of the ring with a couple of kicks. Charlie doesn’t have time to recover before Davey is on him again with a running boot from the apron. Haas has seen plenty of guys try this approach with him though, and he showcases his veteran instincts by countering Richards into a backbreaker – then immediately launching an onslaught onto that body part. Davey is soon having to work wounded and once again goes to a defensive kick out of the ring to counteract Haas’ approaches. Tope suicida scores, as does a missile dropkick, but both moves seem to do as much damage to Davey as they do to Haas. Handspring Enzi gets 2…but the back means he can’t get Charlie up for a suplex, and the current Tag Champion hoists him into an effortless t-bone suplex of his own. Haas tries an ill-advised venture to the top rope only to be pursued and violently headbutt by Richards, who then hits a superplex…rolled into the falcon arrow…ROLLED INTO THE ANKLELOCK! Haas knows that hold well though, and is well-versed at countering free. He’s limping now and shows some signs of desperation by hauling Davey to the floor…OLYMPIC SLAM INTO THE RINGPOST! Richards beats the count-out, and amazingly rolls into the ring to dish out ROLLING GERMANS! Haas counters…GERMAN SUPLEX DUEL! The suplexing goes on for well over a minute with both men determined to be the guy that ‘wins’ it and hits the final one in the sequence. Despite being on the brink of exhaustion they just don’t stop. Finally Richards counters a German back to the Anklelock only for Charlie to smash his face into the turnbuckles. Olympic Slam nailed again…and both men stay down! Alarm Clock by Richards, before running and Haas and smashing him into the ropes with elbows. Clotheslines by Charlie…HAAS OF PAIN! COUNTERED TO THE ANKLELOCK! Haas escapes so Davey kicks him in the face! REPEATED ENZI KICKS…BUT HAAS WON’T GO DOWN! BUZZSAW KICK! This time his lights go out and Richards secures the victory at 18:48
Rating – **** – This match was pretty much everything I hoped it would be. Both guys are terrific mat wrestlers so we got some tremendous mat wrestling exchanges amongst the expected suplex and submission duels. This was essentially the same match Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle had with such success on a number of occasions, albeit not quite at the same level. Shelton gets a lot of attention and is obviously the standout performer of the team – but for straight up, Ring Of Honor style wrestling Charlie Haas is extremely underrated. If he worked this hard in every match (I thought both members of WGTT were very lazy at Revolution: Canada for instance) he’d get a lot more respect from the ROH fans than he currently gets. This one was tremendous
Claudio Castagnoli vs Shelton Benjamin
We know the history between the Kings Of Wrestling and WGTT. Haas and Benjamin lost their debut match thanks to the loaded elbow pad but secured the ultimate revenge at Honor Takes Center Stage when they dethroned the Kings to become new Tag Champions. In their trilogy of matches, the power exchanges between Castagnoli and Benjamin were frequently highlights – so with WGTT in singles action tonight ROH wasted no time in booking these two in a one-on-one bout.
Claudio acts like an ass from the get go…then dives into the ropes like a coward when Shelton latches onto him for an attempted takedown. He’s forced into the ropes again moments later as he looks to avoid the Dragon Whip. They go hold for hold on the canvas, with Shelton coming out on top which isn’t surprising given his background. Dragon Whip scores second time of asking and gets 2…so Claudio goes to the power with a tilta-whirl backbreaker. He follows up with a powerslam then clamps on an armbar with added BRUTAL attacks on the hand and wrist. Benjamin finally counters free with an armdrag but hurts his own arm in so doing. Second time around he opts to punch his way free as Chris Hero and Charlie Haas both make their way to ringside to support their respective partners. Stalling vertical suplex gets another 2 for Double C. He attacks the wrist again…except Shelton starts REPEATEDLY nipping up to relieve the pressure then lands the Stinger Splash. Rolling Germans from Benjamin…but as he tries a springboard move out of the corner he gets met with a European uppercut from Castagnoli. The European grabs the wrist looking for the Riccola Bomb only to see it countered with a superkick to leave both competitors on the mat. Flatliner COUNTERED WITH THE ALPAMARE WATER SLIDE FOR 2! Castagnoli gets over-confident with such a seasoned mat wrestler and can’t do anything to prevent Shelton from latching onto a triangle choke. Claudio powers up from the canvas into a powerbomb to leave them both down and struggling to recover for the second time in as many minutes. BENJAMIN JUMPS TO THE TOP ROPE FOR A BELLY TO BELLY SUPERPLEX! And that’s enough to win him the match at 17:20
Rating – *** – Not as good as Haas/Richards but I really liked the story they went for here with Claudio attacking the arm and wrist as a way to negate the mat wrestling skills of Shelton. It would have worked better had Benjamin put more effort into selling it but I can still appreciate what they were going for. Ultimately this was probably a tad too slow for such a healthy time allocation but the good far outweighed the bad. I’d give a thumbs up to the singles debuts of both Charlie and Shelton tonight – they can definitely work more individual efforts from here.
The Kings and the Tag Champions have to be separated after the match as the heat between them continues to simmer. Hero and Claudio are having a terrible few months and clearly want to vent their frustration at Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
Christopher Daniels vs Colt Cabana
In Dearborn at Revolution: USA the Fallen Angel emerged victorious against Cabana only after Truth Martini levelled him with the Book Of Truth. It was a cheap win and Colt was granted an instant rematch although once again the TV Title won’t be defended as Daniels continues to proclaim himself the only worthy champion as he’s the only ROH wrestler on television at the moment.
Cabana, in his final ROH match in Chicago to date, goads Todd Sinclair into ejecting Truth Martini from ringside which is a smart move. Daniels is irate with that decision and it takes him several minutes to recover as Colt starts the match in top form. Eventually Daniels starts attacking the ribs and that earns him a strong foothold in the contest. It also proves to be a great decision as Cabana tries a quebrada and soars chest-first right into the knees to do yet more damage to that part of the body. It’s actually not his wrestling, but his determination to piss off the Chicago fans that leaves him open to a comeback attempt from Colt. Flying Asshole then a crossbody block (seriously??) score for Cabana only for Daniels to drag him to that mat again – into the Koji Clutch. Michael Elgin runs in to crotch Cabana against the turnbuckles…and out comes Steve Corino to make the save. Colt utilises the distractions to hit a turnbuckle gutbuster for the win at 08:52
Rating – ** – As a match this was infinitely more fun than their Dearborn clash. But the continued use of outside interference in House Of Truth matches and Cabana’s decision to use a crossbody – a move that he NEVER does – after having his ribs worked for most of the match pissed me off so I’m not going any higher on the rating. After a great 2010 Cabana is sort of fading out of Ring Of Honor in a hugely underwhelming manner.
Steve Corino fights off Daniels, Elgin and Truth Martini as well…even as Cabana looks disgusted with him and walks out. Eventually the numbers become too much and Elgin lays him out.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs All Night Express – Street Fight
Not that there’s pressure on these four, but the last Street Fight we saw in Chicago was the epic bloodbath pitting Steen and Corino against Cabana and Generico…quite a match to live up to. After the battle between these two teams became a blood-soaked war in Atlanta and a rematch which saw more crimson flowing in Dearborn it only seems fitting we come to this point. ANX didn’t like the First Blood stipulations at Revolution: USA – and want the chance to make both Briscoes bleed copiously in this one tonight.
Fists fly from the opening bell with the Briscoes seizing the early advantage. That is until Kenny SUPLEXES MARK THROUGH THE TIMEKEEPING TABLE! Yes, that was a table spot in the first minute of a match! Titus pulls out a chain and punches Jay with it wrapped around his knuckles. ANX start chaining Jay to the ringpost…but Mark re-emerges and saves with a SOMERSAULT PLANCHA OVER THE RINGPOST! The Briscoes start assaulting King and Titus using repeated smashes against the guardrails. Jay does that to Rhett all the way up the aisles, although it doesn’t go so well for Mark as he gets suplexed on a section torn loose. KING MOONSAULTS OFF THE BARRIER ONTO THE SEGMENT OF GUARDRAIL! TITUS LAWNDARTS JAY INTO THE RINGPOST! Both Briscoes are bleeding now…and Titus makes Mark’s cut worse with the Thrust Buster onto an open chair. He sets an open table on the floor but Mark blocks an Awesome Bomb attempt. Titus tries the Super Sex Factor…AND GETS SHOVED THROUGH THE TABLE ON THE FLOOR! Just as when Mark went through the table earlier in the match, the Briscoes now have a numbers advantage and use it to pick Kenny King apart. Even when Rhett tries to get back in the ring he eats a chain-wrapped punch to the face and falls back to the floor. They wrap chain around King’s throat…AND F*CKING HANG HIM OVER THE ROPES! It’s done in a brutally graphic fashion, and far more sickening than anytime the Hangman 3 did that spot during Faction Warfare. Titus crawls back in absolutely pissing blood…but even when Jay throws a chair in his face he shakes it off and gets back to his feet. The distraction allows Kenny to find a fire extinguisher and spray it in the faces of both opponents and bring ANX right back into the match. VAN DAMINATOR on Mark! That is swiftly turned as Jay drops King with a flatliner into a chair. The 6-time former Tag Champions pull out a ladder, and Jay starts climbing as Mark puts Kenny on a table at ringside. Titus saves with a chair to the back…DOOMSDAY F*CKING BLOCKBUSTER OFF THE LADDER! MARK SAVES! Titus slowly starts to climb the ladder again, only for Mark to haul him off with the Iconoclasm! King SPIDERMANS off the ladder…straight into a superkick from Mark! It’s Crazy Mark’s turn to climb…FROG ELBOW OFF THE LADDER! TITUS KICKS OUT! DOOMSDAY DEVICE! But before they can even pin him King makes the save and starts brawling wit Mark…as a KO’d Jay collapses on top of Titus. That’s enough to pin him at 19:28
Rating – **** – Last time we were in Chicago we saw ANX’s coming out party as an elite team in ROH when they pushed the Kings Of Wrestling to the limit in an outstanding tag match. This time around we saw them grow up from ‘boys’ of the roster to men in an incredible and gutsy effort. The Briscoes are no strangers to this environment, but the All Night’s won’t have done much like this before and the way they effortlessly adopted all their signature spots and holds for the Street Fight setting was really impressive. If you’re being critical you’d call the finish a little underwhelming, and possibly it became a little too spot-packed for it’s own good…but in the end they’re still setting up for at least one more match (as opposed to ending the feud tonight) and you have to salute the outrageous desire to pull out crazy sh*t to impress the fans.
Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong – ROH World Title Match
Generally when an ROH World Champion loses their belt, they are offered the opportunity for a rematch at the earliest opportunity. Roderick hasn’t waited long to cash in, and he’ll be desperate to get his belt back and prove that Eddie’s shock win at Manhattan Mayhem 4 was nothing more than a fluke. Can Edwards beat Strong for a second time or will he be so distracted by the shadow Davey Richards has cast over his title reign that he takes his eye off the ball?
Roderick knees Eddie in the face before the bell even rings, and begins the match by dragging him to the floor and whipping him into the guardrail so hard that it breaks. SUPLEX INTO THE SIDE OF THE RING! Three minutes in and it’s been all Roderick, with him acting quickly to rake the eyes every time Edwards so much as tries a simple chop in return. He tries the Sick Kick but it’s too early and it allows Eddie to counter by sweeping him into the tree of woe. Running dropkick from the floor connects! Backpack Stunner blocked, allowing Strong to hoist him up for the TURNBUCKLE BACKBREAKER! Stronghold locked in…and even when Eddie gets to the ropes and crawls to the floor Truth Martini is on hand to lay in some cheap shots. Edwards tries some chops but again his comeback attempt is shut down as Strong puts a dropkick through his jaw. The champion returns fire again, shaking off Strong’s attempts to stop it and hitting a Back Drop Driver! ACHILLES LOCK IN THE ROPES! He then misses a slingshot double stomp to the apron and floats seamlessly into a moonsault off the apron instead! He returns to the ring with a missile dropkick then gets 2 with a running fisherman buster.
Roderick demonstrates his resilience by absorbing that and still getting up to score his own nearfall with a urinage backbreaker. Death By Roderick countered…Achilles Lock blocked! Edwards tries a running kick and Strong counters that INTO THE ACHILLES LOCK ON EDDIE! COUNTERED TO THE STRONGHOLD ON RODERICK! MANHATTAN MAYHEM 4 ROLL-UP GETS 2! MMA ELBOWS BY STRONG! DEATH BY EDDIE! Both men are emptying the tanks now, and crawl back to their feet to start absolutely blasting each other with chops. The ferocity of the strikes is positively awful at this point…DEATH BY RODERICK! But as he charges for the Sick Kick Eddie blocks him with a superkick. SICK KICK ANYWAY! BOTH MEN DOWN! They fight to the top rope…AVALANCHE DEATH BY RODERICK COUNTERED IN MID-AIR WITH A FRANKENSTEINER! Edwards hits a double stomp then grabs Strong for the Achilles Lock again! Truth Martini almost drags his client into the ropes there…and that means the fight spills to the apron. GIBSON DRIVER ON THE APRON! GIBSON DRIVER ON THE FLOOR! He drags the champion back inside for an immediate 2-count. REPEATED BLACK SUPERKICKS! EDDIE COUNTERS TO THE ACHILLES LOCK WITH HEAD STOMPS! EDDIE WINS! 23:37 is your time!
Rating – **** – I liked this more than Manhattan Mayhem 4, although I’m possibly in the minority on that. I’ll admit that the New York match has the hugely emotional pay-off of Eddie’s shock win, but from the very first bell this one was just wall to wall action. Eddie has had a couple of long title matches (Daniels and Hero), but here he showed his versatility by going sub-25 minutes in a hugely exciting, almost frenetic encounter. First Strong beat the hell out of him…then he showed all his heart and courage that he’s known for by taking the punishment and coming back. The last 10, with unbelievable counters, violent strikes and really rough bumps (all fought in front of a really hot crowd) were a joy to sit through. I can’t quite put this in MOTYC territory, much as I couldn’t with their initial title match this year, but it’s a great main event.
Elgin and Daniels are in the ring almost before Todd Sinclair calls for the bell and soon it’s a four-on-one assault. Davey Richards saves his partner (and hilariously punts the Book Of Truth out of the ring too)…but again Eddie Edwards isn’t pleased to see him. He reaffirms their friendship but says he now NEEDS to face Davey, and prove he is the deserving World Champion he thinks he is. In fact, he says he’s going to quit Ring Of Honor unless Richards agrees to it. Davey reluctantly agrees and the show ends with an uneasy handshake between the American Wolves.
Tape Rating – *** – This show has a slightly inconsistent undercard and a number of matches which felt disappointing or underwhelming (Homicide/Elgin, Corino/Bennett, Daniels/Cabana and you could even include Hero/Generico and Claudio/Benjamin in that category). But nothing is bad, and there are three strong 4* matches which make this DVD a great purchase. If I gave ¼ stars you’d definitely see an extra quarter thrown into my ratings for both the ROH Title Match and the Chicago Street Fight. This show will be remembered as the day ANX stopped becoming a comedy midcard act and became legitimate frontline players in the tag team division, and for a tremendously competitive instalment in one of ROH’s top rivalries of 2011 in Edwards vs Strong. I’m sure there are better shows out there, but considering Ring Of Honor aren’t releasing anywhere near as many DVD’s this year, this is well worth checking out.
Top 3 Matches
3) Davey Richards vs Charlie Haas (****)
2) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs All Night Express (****)
1) Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong (****)