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ROH Allied Forces 10/15/2010

ROH 268 – Allied Forces – 15th October 2010

Honestly I could talk about this show in my intro here, but I’m not going to. I could talk about how we’re here tonight to go through the final hype for the big Richards/Daniels match tomorrow, but again, I’m not going to. Instead – I’m sadly going to be introducing this DVD with a real rant. As decent as the line-up for this show is, it’s completely overshadowed by the decision to include the ENTIRE Joe vs Punk trilogy on a bonus disc. Other than the fact that the first of the trilogy took place in Dayton, there is no real link to this event – it’s just there. I imagine ROH was absolutely desperate for cash and badly needed to shift some DVD units of this show to turn a profit for the weekend, but this is still ridiculous. CM Punk is legitimately one of the biggest stars in wrestling now – and he’s there, in part, due to the opportunities afforded to him by ROH. His Ring Of Honor career can loosely be divided into four chapters – those being the Raven feud, the Jimmy Rave feud, the Summer Of Punk and the Joe/Punk trilogy. Samoa Joe has also gone on from ROH to become a World Champion in his own right. Their heritage and history in ROH is something that should be celebrated – not whored out on a bonus feature to sell a few DVD’s of a show which wasn’t promoted well enough to sell on it’s own. I could understand maybe putting one on  there as a bonus – but all 3 is crazy. Given that all 3 shows are sold out, if they were that desperate for cash they could have released the 3 matches as a Joe vs Punk trilogy DVD in it’s own right, include a few interviews from ROH guys at the time (Briscoes, Strong, Daniels, Aries, Homicide, Corino, Cabana, Paul Turner, Cary Silkin etc), included the snippets of Joe and Punk discussing the trilogy themselves from their ‘Straight Shootin’ DVD and it would have sold. As someone that has followed this company since 2002, I cannot get over how angry the decision to chuck one of the defining series of matches in the entire history of the promotion out on a bonus disc has made me. Just make your f*cking B-shows better and you don’t have that problem. Gabe Sapolsky was always excellent at hyping the B-shows or one-match events as must-see even when they weren’t – and his skill at that has been sorely missed. Finances must have been ridiculously stretched by this point to justify such a short-sighted decision just to sell a few DVD’s. I guarantee you the Sinclair Broadcasting Group will NOT have been happy seeing this in ROH’s back catalogue, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if this has already been pulled from sale at ROHWrestling.com. If you’ve not seen the trilogy just buy this show as the three Joe/Punk matches are absolutely MANDATORY viewing for all ROH fans. I personally have the first two down at 5* (and I’m watching Joe/Punk 1 again now and absolutely stand by it) and the third match at ****1/2 as well. Maybe I’m being too sentimental and unrealistic – and I’m sure there are plenty of new ROH fans who are really pissed off at me since this DVD gave them the chance to see the trilogy. But this is a piss-poor decision from a business and a historical perspective in my opinion.

Rant over, the actual show, as I said, is here to promote Richards vs Daniels tomorrow. To that end, Davey and Daniels team tonight, as a thrown together team to challenge the dominant Kings Of Wrestling. Elsewhere Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole get their first matches as permanent, signed members of the ROH roster, Homicide works his first match back and Andy Ridge’s Trial Series begins. Dave Prazak and Kevin Kelly are in Dayton, OH. Lets see if the show is actually SO bad that it justifies giving away one of the most important feuds in ROH history away for free…

Mike Mondo cuts a geeky promo about being a giant killer and the ‘biggest little man’ in wrestling. That gimmick might work in the Spirit Squad or OVW…but in ROH he’s basically the same size as everyone else so seems totally stupid

Mark Briscoe vs Mike Mondo
Both of the Briscoe brothers are in singles action tonight, with Jay scheduled to compete solo later. Here we see Mondo looking to make an impression and earn a permanent roster spot at the expense of one of ROH’s longest serving competitors.

After an impressive start from Mondo Mark strings together a series of armdrags and forces the former male cheerleader to retreat. He gets 2 with a running neckbreaker and peppers him with body shots as Mike continues to struggle. Finally Mondo hits back with a running dropkick in the ropes for 2. More cheating next as he uses his wrist tape to strangle the 6-time former ROH Tag Champion. Briscoe attempts a springboard move, only to be dragged off the apron into a big whip to the guardrails. Mondo heads upstairs only to miss a diving headbutt. Mark retaliates with Redneck Kung Fu and this time does get to hit his crazy dive to the floor – connecting with a somersault plancha up the aisle. Back in the ring he gets 2 with a springboard moonsault press. Mike hits a super rana for 2, then goes to the ropes again only to be caught in the Iconoclasm. Mark wins at 09:02

Rating – ** – Completely forgettable, but there was nothing wrong with this. I’ve seen some people be hugely critical of Mike Mondo, but I’ll stick with the same assessment of him I had after Bluegrass Brawl. He looks like a competent talent, he’s well built, relatively fluid in the ring and certainly doesn’t make any obvious botches. In short, he seems a reliable, albeit entirely unspectacular worker. Personally, that’s not enough for me to want him on the roster, but if ROH can find the right gimmick for him to get over, I feel like he could run with it. The ‘biggest little man’ thing has to go though since it’s f*cking awful

Lady JoJo gets some promo time to hype her first ROH appearance. She says ‘vicious’ far too many times in one 30-second interview.

Lady JoJo vs Daizee Haze
ROH have been running an angle for months where Daizee Haze and Sara Del Rey want more competition in the Women Of Honor division. In truth, that was just a smokescreen to allow them to work multiple squashes on HDNet – and to bring Kong in a couple of times over the summer. This is another match that falls into that category. Can JoJo earn more bookings or will she go to the way of the likes of Rachel Summerlyn, Neveah and the multiple other jobbers who have been roundly beaten on HDNet recently.

As with most women, JoJo is bigger than Haze and uses her size to control things early on. Daizee uses her speed to hit back and dropkicks Lady in the neck to ground her. She gets 2 with a rolling cradle before JoJo leaves the ring to recover. Haze gives chase, only to be shoulder tackled off the apron and into the guardrails. She continues to batter Daizee’s back against the apron, then drags her back in to hang her in the turnbuckles and deliver a big dropkick straight on the back again. ROLLING Regal neckbreakers from Daizee, then a missile dropkick for 2. Heart Punch nailed…only for Lady to evade the subsequent Yakuza Kick and level her with a spinebuster for a CLOSE nearfall. Haze evades an Air Raid Crash and lifts her into a bridging German suplex for 3 at 07:59

Rating – ** – This was far better than I was expecting it to be. Most of it was relatively clean, and JoJo looked like a serviceable talent. There aren’t many female ‘valet’ types in ROH right now. Sara Del Rey is with the Kings of course, but outside of Daizee (who is now solo with Delirious out of the picture), there aren’t really any regular women. If ROH do want to bring in another couple of women to work matches and manage wrestlers then they could do worse than JoJo who looked solid in the ring and was far from the worst talker either.

Colt Cabana can barely suppress his smile as he talks about his match against Andy Ridge. He doesn’t seem that happy about Right Leg getting a chance in ROH as a rookie – something he and CM Punk had to work YEARS to get. He’s not mad, but he’s going to teach him a real lesson tonight…

Daizee Haze isn’t happy, even after beating Lady JoJo and is still looking for genuine competition in the Women Of Honor division.

Andy Ridge vs Colt Cabana – Trial Series Match #1
Ring Of Honor announced they were looking to run a Trial Series and shortly afterwards made a second announcement that it would be Andy Ridge getting that opportunity. He’s a graduate of the ROH wrestling school and is someone who officials are supposedly pretty high on. He now has five matches against established ROH names to learn some valuable lessons and improve his skills. The Trial Series is an established concept in wrestling promotions in Japan – but this is the first time ROH has really tried to bring something similar to the US.

As you might expect, Cabana starts the match in total cocky asshole mode, using all his European shenanigans to bemuse the rookie. Ridge works hard but isn’t in Colt’s league when it comes to this style of match and is continually made to look like a fool. Incredibly, Andy manages to knock Colt back for long enough to slap him in the face…which Cabana sells by fake-crying in the corner hilariously. He demands a disqualification whilst the Dayton fans loudly demand an apology from Ridge. Soon the youngster shows his inexperience again by stopping on Cabana’s command and getting slapped into a headlock. Just when he thinks it’s an easy night Ridge tags him with a big kick to the face. Butt Attack from Cabana floors him again, but that one kick has changed Colt’s approach. He peppers Ridge with chops and elbows now…until Ridge pops up out of nowhere with a slingshot cutter. Running kick gets the kid an unlikely 2-count. Flying Asshole misses and allows Andy to repeatedly kick Cabana across the back, leaving him in real pain on the canvas. More inexperience catches Andy out though as he tries to come off the top rope and gets kicked in the face. Flying Asshole nailed this time, followed by the Twirly Bird and Billy Goat’s Curse. It’s over at 08:31

Rating – *** – Am I alone in really enjoying that? Of course a lot of it was based on the brilliance of Colt Cabana as a live performer but I thought this was shockingly decent. You don’t often see a 10 minute match openly fought under the premise of one guy being MILES better than the other. Even squash matches are often presented as a guy thinking he’s better than the established talent and looking to prove himself. Here the whole premise was that Colt was better than Ridge – and that Ridge is only here to learn and get better. The result was a fun watch, with Cabana making a mockery of him early on, but being made to take it increasingly serious as the contest progressed thanks to Ridge’s resilience and desire to compete. I don’t think this did ANYTHING to get Andy Ridge over, so on that level it’s probably a complete failure, but as a midcard comedy match I thought this was entertaining.

In the back Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly are now packaged together as a tag team. They admit to being nervous about facing two of the most violent men in ROH tonight – but this is a huge opportunity for them and one they can’t wait for.

Kevin Steen/Steve Corino vs Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly
Of course this is a HDNet spoiler as we saw Steen and Corino quit on the most recent episode, but nobody expected that to be anything more than a gimmick anyway. The real story here is the first official teaming of Cole and O’Reilly. Both have made assorted appearances in the jobber role – but at Fade To Black Kyle earned future opportunities with the company with an impressive performance against former World Champion Austin Aries. Elsewhere on the indies Adam Cole has been making a name for himself – becoming a genuine draw in CZW and earning plaudits for his performances in Gabe’s Dragon Gate USA and Evolve promotions too. ROH has now signed them to contracts and will showcase them as a tag team it seems.

The lack of reaction for Cole and O’Reilly implies that the Dayton crowd think this is going to be a comprehensive squash. Steen comes out wearing El Generico’s mask and clearly isn’t taking this too seriously. Cole starts with Corino and struggles to overcome the size and experience difference. Finally he manages to drop Steve on his face as the veteran attempts an armdrag…and we get tags all round. Steen brings the snot rockets and slaps to O’Reilly’s face only for Kyle to hit back with kicks and a snot rocket of his own. He showcases his wrestling prowess by trapping Steen in an early cross armbreaker. Corino berates Kyle for taking this too seriously when they have important matches in Chicago tomorrow to worry about…to which O’Reilly responds by firing off another series of kicks to his leg then rolling him into a kneebar. Kyle continues to throw strikes at both opponents until Corino floors him with the Colby Shock. The heels start to isolate O’Reilly using the rugged, morally questionable style we’re used to seeing from them. They particularly make me laugh as they mock Kyle’s MMA-influenced style with a stereo kick combo for 2. Crucial tag made to Cole, who gets great height on a flying crossbody for 2 on Steen. Cole counters Steen’s powerbomb with a hurricanrana, then tries a crossbody off the apron…ONLY TO BE CAUGHT WITH A FALLAWAY SLAM INTO THE GUARDRAILS! The momentum switches in a hurry and once again it’s Steen and Corino who are in complete control. Corino works the leg of the athletic youngster, leaving him laid up in the corner and in the path of Kevin Steen’s cannonball senton. The heels are so confident in their position they take a break from beating on Adam Cole to mock Davey Richards – who is in the crowd watching his protégé Kyle O’Reilly. Thumb In The Bum from Corino…only for O’Reilly to make the save with a DOUBLE missile dropkick. Cole gets the tag to O’Reilly who absolutely batters Steen with a kick flurry. TOPE SUICIDA from Cole to Corino as Kyle gets 2 with a tornado DDT on Mr Wrestling. F-5 gets Steen a nearfall after Steve managed to level O’Reilly with an elbow smash from the apron. Adam climbs the ropes to stop Kevin hitting the Steen-ton Bomb. DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT INSTEAD…BUT IT MISSES! KICK FLURRY FROM COLE AND O’REILLY GETS 2! Corino pelts Cole with a lariat as O’Reilly runs into a superkick from Steen. STEENALYZER  SUPLEX INTO THE TURNBUCKLES! COLE IS DEAD! Steen pins him at 19:28

Rating – **** – What a great match that was. If Dayton didn’t know, or didn’t care who Cole and O’Reilly were before, they certainly do now. What was brilliant about this was how it progressed at such a logical and enjoyable pace. Steen and Corino started as arrogant pricks – because they had every right to. These are two young, inexperienced guys in a thrown together team after all. And when first confronted with the skills of Cole and O’Reilly, they didn’t get mad (as with the Cabana match), they just became BIGGER assholes, openly disrespecting their opponents and cheating to get the advantage on them. That approach meant that, when the big babyface comeback spots finally came the crowd were begging for them to happen. A crowd who barely even mustered up polite applause for the kids during their entrance were now on their feet routing for them to beat Kevin Steen who, at this point is easily one of the biggest draws in Ring Of Honor. Star making performance here…

Ricky Reyes vs Metal Master
Answers on a postcard as to why this one is booked. Admittedly Chad Collyer in his Metal Master gimmick produced a couple of watchable undercard matches at Pick Your Poison/Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2 weekend, but is that any reason to bring him in to fight Reyes? I suppose Collyer had a couple of decent although totally over-rated matches with Rocky Romero back in the day…

Reyes opens up to trade chops with Master, and clearly has an edge there so the masked man takes him to the canvas with a side headlock. He escapes to drive a knee into Metal’s midsection then deliver a couple of stiff kicks. Once again MM looks to use his superior wrestling skills to get the better of his hard-hitting adversary…only for Reyes to put him down again with a diving reverse elbow. The former Tag Champion gets distracted by yelling at a fan…and it turns out to be another one of those retarded ‘worked shoot’ features for some TV show. He hops the rail and gets a kick to the face from Reyes before being dragged to the back. Ricky returns to work a looooooooong chinlock, which ends when the two men knock heads. Metal is up first with a bridging German suplex for 2. Eventually Reyes locks in the Dragon Sleeper…only for Master to escape into a bridging pin for another nearfall. Jackhammer from MM but again he can’t put the former Havana Pitbull away. Diving headbutt misses and Ricky puts a thumb in his eyes before hitting a swinging neckbreaker for the win in 12:01

Rating – DUD – As a match the actual quality probably wasn’t that bad, but the stupid stunt with another fan run-in, combined with how needlessly long this match was provoked me into giving this one the DUD treatment. I know Delirious is new at this, but surely even he shouldn’t need to be told that in 2010 ROH, nobody wants to see Chad Collyer and Ricky Reyes go the best part of 15 minutes?

Outside the building the All Night Express think about their matches tonight. Rhett isn’t too concerned about facing Jay Briscoe tonight, but together the ANX are planning to make another big statement by putting another ROH legend out of action – with Homicide in their sights.

Rhett Titus vs Jay Briscoe
There is a budding rivalry between the Briscoes and the All Night Express. Of course Jay and Mark are still focused on the Kings Of Wrestling – and face them again tomorrow night in Chicago. But the ANX are on a mission to prove themselves here in the latter stages of 2010. Having put Delirious out of action, they are looking to prove their credentials as the top young team in ROH by making a name for themselves at the expense of the longest serving team in the company. Kenny King beat Jay in a singles match at Glory By Honor 9 – can Rhett Titus get another win here tonight in Dayton?

As with other recent ANX matches, it’s noticeable how focused Titus is, foregoing lots of the posturing we usually associate with him and looking intent on making a real statement with this match. He hits an Ode To Aries tumbling springboard reverse elbow smash and, three minutes into the match, he stops for his first bout of pelvic gyration. That’s an error which allows Briscoe to pounce and maul him with his recognisable ground and pound style. Rhett skilfully avoids a double stomp though, then blocks the turnbuckle flatliner to shove Briscoe into the buckles himself. Running bootscrape gets Rhettski a nearfall. Next he delivers a running boot to the exposed head as Jay hangs over the ring apron. The fans are quiet during this, perhaps surprised at how impressive Titus, traditionally a comedy performer, has been in this. They quickly come alive again as Jay hoists him over the top rope to the outside, then flattens him with a somersault plancha. Now Rhett gets to show his resilience as he survives that attack to start smashing Jay’s arm into the ringpost and guardrail. Despite the bad arm Briscoe blocks the Super Sex Factor and delivers an AVALANCHE FLATLINER! They trade shots, with Jay finally getting the upper hand and a nearfall after a superkick to the jaw. Rhett looks for his leapfrog Rocker Dropper only for Jay to counter with a spinebuster for another 2. But the damage to his arm is such that he can’t execute the Jay Driller…and now Titus does land the leapfrog Rocker Dropper. Briscoe goes for a frankensteiner and gets DROPPED ON THE TURNBUCKLES! INVERTED DDT scores for a close nearfall for Titus. They run through a fluid and impressively rapid nearfall sequence, ending when Titus DROPKICKS JAY OFF THE TOP ROPE THROUGH THE TIMEKEEPING TABLE! He drags him back in to apply a RINGS OF SATURN! Briscoe refuses to quit though, and powers back to his feet whilst no selling a barrage of Titus strikes. JAY DRILLER! Briscoe wins at 18:11

Rating – *** – Hell of a brave call by Delirious to give these guys nearly 20 minutes – but by and large they delivered. I’ll admit the first few minutes were largely uneventful, but it kept improving as it went along and never failed to hold my attention. I love how ROH are pushing in a more serious direction with ANX, and sticking with it even now Austin Aries has been removed from the picture. A couple of years ago I’d never have thought I’d type this, but I genuinely enjoyed watching Titus wrestle a near-20 minute match, which is a wonderful indication of how much the guy has improved.

Jay is so impressed with Rhett’s performance tonight that he offers a handshake…to which Titus responds by flipping him off and beating up a ringside security guy on the way out.

Kenny King vs Homicide
Although he was on the recent TV tapings, those episodes are yet to air so this is technically Homicide’s return match in ROH. The last iPPV ended with his memorable return to the company, interrupting Roderick Strong’s celebration party and announcing his intent to come for the World Title. To get into contention for the belt he’ll need to score some wins – and in Kenny King, himself hungry for career progression and impressive victories, he finds a formidable opponent this evening.

King gets in Homicide’s face and is immediately beaten out of the ring by the returning Notorious 187. He wastes no time lining up his infamous Tope Con Hilo but Kenny has that scouted and walks away things to ensure he can’t hit it. He hides behind the referee then jumps out to level Homicide with a few cheapshots, giving him the advantage briefly. They go to the floor which, of course, favours Homicide who violently flings Kenny into the railings. Having previously torn one of the sheet metal ‘ROH’ signs from the guardrails, now Homicide takes advantage of it lying on the floor to deliver a big suplex on top of it. Overhead belly to belly suplex scores too and the Pretty Boy Pitbull is being taught a lesson at the hands of the former leader of the Rottweilers. He applies a Sharpshooter next, perhaps looking to send a message to Kevin Steen whom he faces in Chicago tomorrow, only for King to escape and hit a desperate-looking spinebuster for 2. Feeling confident now, King is the one that takes the match back to the floor and he starts smashing Homicide’s head against the guardrails. SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK into that sheet metal sign which had been positioned to cover Homicide’s face. But he tries a similar springboard move back inside the ring and misses. Homicide dives off the ropes to hit a shoulder tackle and pops up to hit the Three Amigos for 2. He delivers a neckbreaker as well, but still can’t put Kenny away. SHOTGUN KNEES out of nowhere get a nearfall for King, only for Homicide to COUNTER the Capo Kick into the STF. Rhett Titus arrives to distract the referee so Homicide can’t win the match there…and King reacts by levelling him with a corkscrew enzi. King tries a Lariat…but Homicide blocks it. Ace Crusher beats King at 16:37

Rating – ** – There was lots of good stuff in this match – but there was just a little too much boring, and a dire finish which is ultimately going to see me lower my rating. The Titus interference wasn’t ideal, but even after that the whole thing felt flat. Why hype Homicide’s patented finishing moves (the Cop Killa or the Lariat) only to have him win with an Ace Crusher, a move he’s only ever used in ROH as a set up spot rather than a match ender. Thematically there was some good stuff here – with Homicide showing off his ‘street fighter’ style to good effect, and therefore putting King over as a tough guy by withstanding that and coming back to outwrestle the former World Champion…but they just took too long getting there for such a disappointing conclusion.

The All Night Express look to hit the Jerry Lynn Driver on Homicide…only for Jay Briscoe to make the save brandishing a steel chair. Not that Homicide is happy about it. Those two have history going back to 2004 and have to be separated before a fight breaks out.

Kings Of Wrestling vs Christopher Daniels/Davey Richards – ROH Tag Title Match
Everyone watching this wants to know how the Fallen Angel and the American Wolf will coexist here, knowing that tomorrow night they finally have the match they demanded back in April when Daniels returned to ROH at The Big Bang. The Big Bang was also the night that the Kings regained the ROH Tag Championship, and they’ve been dominant in the division ever since. They’ve beaten all comers for the belts, and having beaten Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team in New York, and not scheduled to face the American Wolves until December, they feel there are no teams left worthy of a shot at them. As such ROH have packaged two of their top singles stars together as a team and offered them a shot. Both are former Tag Champions (Daniels is actually a 2-time Tag Champion, and one half of the first ever Ring Of Honor Tag Title holders with The Prophecy) and, even with their individual tensions, represent a tough test for the Kings this evening.

Richards is totally focused on shouting at Shane Hagadorn, which is understandable given what went down on HDNet this week. Daniels starts with Hero and the two engage in a predictably solid exchange of early holds. These are two of the most experienced guys in all of independent wrestling, but even here it’s Daniels able to use HIS experience to outwit Hero and gain the advantage. Hagadorn has to summon his charges to the floor for a team talk after a largely unsuccessful first five minutes. Davey and Claudio tag, looking to pit their wits against each other in this building again 13 months after their classic at Final Countdown Tour Dayton. Castagnoli is locked in an armbar but uses his extreme power to muscle Richards into a stalling suplex. Hero in for a VIOLENT exchange of strikes with Richards, before Daniels tags and we’re right back to square one. The challengers start to work Hero over and manage to keep him well away from Claudio and a tag, whilst demonstrating remarkable capabilities as a unit despite the makeshift nature of their team. Hagadorn gets involved again, grabbing Davey’s boot and distracting him for long enough to allow Hero to whip him into a powerslam before tagging back to Claudio at 10 minutes. The champs cut the ring in half and dominate Richards for the next several minutes, getting a nearfall with the Big Swing Flash Kick along the way. Hero amuses himself by firing off disrespectful chops to Davey’s chest…then absolutely FLOORS him with an elbow smash when Richards looks to fight back. Eventually Richards does land a kick across Hero’s chest. STALLING SUPLEX BY CLAUDIO…BLOCKED WITH KNEE STRIKES!

Richards gets the hot tag and tries to recover as Daniels fights both champions at the same time. He puts the Koji Clutch on Castagnoli but Hero saves for the Kings to hit a HART ATTACK SPRINGBOARD UPPERCUT for 2! Daniels ducks the Suplex Elbow combo…LEAPFROG UPPERCUT! DEATH BLOW! Still Daniels kicks out! He runs through Castagnoli with a running STO as Richards boots Hero in the head on the apron. Davey tagged…TOPE SUICIDA WIPES OUT BOTH KINGS! He gets 2 on Claudio after a big running kick with Hero still struggling to regain his faculties on the outside. Anklelock applied only for Castagnoli to kick him all the way to the floor. POP UP EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! RICCOLA BOMB COUNTERED WITH A CODE RED FOR 2! Castagnoli inadvertently hits his own partner with a Bicycle Kick as the mayhem continues, but COUNTERS THE HANDSPRING ENZI INTO THE UFO ANYWAY! It’s Richards’ turn to kick out right on the brink of defeat. DOUBLE ALARM LOCK by the challengers. SUPERKICK GERMAN GETS 2 as Richards and Daniels start pulling out American Wolves spots. BACK DROP DRIVER ON HERO! Daniels floors Double C with a running Codebreaker and all four men go down in a heap. Hero scoops Daniels into the Ligerbomb but Davey breaks the pin. ENZI/URINAGE SLAM COMBO on Claudio. Hero stops the BME then spins into the ROLLING ELBOW ON RICHARDS! ROLLING ELBOW ON DANIELS FOR 2! Death Blow COUNTERED TO ANGEL’S WINGS! CLAUDIO BREAKS THE PIN! Claudio kicks Davey into Daniels as he sets up the BME…KRS-1 ON DANIELS! Kings retain at 25:16.

Rating – **** – Great main event, where a slightly underwhelming first 15 minutes was compensated for by a scintillating last 10. Not that the work was bad in the first half of the match, it was just fairly standardised, paint by numbers stuff that we’ve seen many times before. The spot-filled conclusion here, with four world class athletes just unloading on each other, was an absolute joy to behold. Of course this is up there with the better matches in recent Dayton history.

Predictably, the tentative union between Richards and Daniels quickly falls apart and they’re left arguing amongst themselves in the ring. Hero mocks them, prompting Davey to grab the mic and promise a different result when he faces them with his ‘regular’ partner in December. Daniels agrees with him that he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world…but tomorrow night in Chicago he’ll prove himself to be that little bit better – and will prove that he should be getting the ‘best in the world’ and ‘next world champ’ chants, not Davey.

Tape Rating – *** – I almost wanted this to be a bad show to make me understand the decision to show such a surprising amount of disrespect to one of the most significant chapters in ROH history by throwing it away as a cheap bonus feature on a random Dayton show. But you know what, this was a great sleeper show. In the ‘old ROH’ under the Gabe regime, he’d have shifted DVD’s by hyping this as a great night for ROH, when the future of the company stepped up to the plate and delivered big time. He’d have hyped the star-making performances of Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, he’d have hyped an arguably career-best match for Rhett Titus. He’d have hyped the in-ring return of Homicide, the impressive (even in defeat) performances of Andy Ridge and Kenny King…and he’d have hyped a truly world class main event between arguably the four top guys on the independent scene. That’s what you’re getting with this show, and the ‘old ROH’ would have pushed that and sold DVD’s because of it, rather than whoring out their history and ‘glory years’ for a quick sale. If you’ve not seen the Joe/Punk trilogy this DVD becomes a 5* must-own event since ROH is seriously stupid enough to chuck that legendary series out as a random bonus feature. But, as a standalone show, personally I felt this was good enough to stand on it’s own two feet as a great night of wrestling where the future stars of ROH came out to play and produced the goods.

Top 3 Matches
3) Jay Briscoe vs Rhett Titus (***)
2) Kevin Steen/Steve Corino vs Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly (****)
1) Kings Of Wrestling vs Christopher Daniels/Davey Richards (****)

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