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ROH Hate: Chapter II 7/23/2010

ROH 262 – Hate: Chapter 2 – 23rd July 2010

Last night’s Louisville debut was a bit of a non-starter. Hardly a bad show by any means, and with two absolutely storming main events at the top of the card – the problem was that it was such a meaningless event. Tonight, with 12 ROH talents added to the roster that didn’t appear last night – including the likes of Kevin Steen, El Generico, the Young Bucks, Amazing Kong, Necro Butcher, Jerry Lynn and Rasche Brown – the promotion will look to put on a much more rounded show. Rasche Brown and Grizzly Redwood are both coming for revenge on The Embassy, Kevin Steen and El Generico rematch their wild Death Before Dishonor 8 curtain jerker, the Young Bucks return to ROH (working the GenMe gimmick from TNA) to contest the third match in their series with the American Wolves…and trios matches are the order of the evening as Team Aries face Tyler, Lynn and Delirious in a HDNet rematch, whilst the main event has the Kings Of Wrestling tagging with Sara Del Rey to oppose the Briscoes and the returning Amazing Kong. This is a pretty stacked line-up for a St Louis show, lets see how it ‘stacks’ up. We’re in Collinsville, IL with Dave Prazak and Joe Dumbrowski.

Bravado Brothers vs Josh Raymond/Christin Able
The injection of Roderick Strong into the House Of Truth stable puts a renewed focus on the Raymond and Able team. They need to prove to everyone that they are capable of providing adequate back up to Roddy as he looks to become World Champion for the first time. As such they’ll be expected to beat the promising up and coming Harlem and Lance Bravado tonight.

Just like last night Truth instructs the ring announcer to give him his own introduction before the bell. Harlem starts with Able and gets the better of him in the early going. Lance joins him to hit stereo kicks to Christin’s sternum for 2. Double legsweep on Raymond gets 2 as well. Josh takes control of Lance Bravado, dragging him to the HOT corner where he and his partner can go to work. Chinlock applied, with added readings from the Book Of Truth from Martini. Lance hits back with a nice belly to belly suplex but Able is on hand to stop him making the tag to Harlem. Quebrada/spinebuster combo gets 2 for the HOT…as does the powerbomb/senton. At last Lance gets the tag and Harlem cleans house on both opponents. He tries a superplex on Raymond but it’s blocked…only to run round his brother into a wicked enzi kick to his jaw instead. Able powers Harlem into the Lawn Dart before HOT hit the double team facecrusher to win at 08:23

Rating – * – There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with this, but I’m rating it harshly because it was SO boring. The Bravados have some talent but are still very green at this point in time – and have no business going nearly 10 minutes out there. House Of Truth are a decent team, but this isn’t the kind of match to get them over.

Erick Stevens vs Grizzly Redwood
In a card packed with rematches, this is another one. I’m sure they’ve wrestled a few times, but this is a direct rematch from Supercard Of Honor 5 when we saw the surprising appearance of Ballz Mahoney coming to the aid of Grizzly as Stevens and The Embassy looked to do a number on the Littlest Lumberjack. It’s also a HDNet rematch, as we recently saw Redwood score an upset win over Erick. Can Grizz continue to frustrate Nana’s men (as he has done for well over a year) or will Stevens finally put the little pest out of his misery this evening.

Stevens has problems laying his hands on the illusive lumberjack for a few moments, then gets bored of trying to wrestle so powerfully shunts him down with a shoulder tackle instead. Redwood tries to climb the turnbuckles only to be distracted by Prince Nana…and Stevens shoves him off the apron into the guardrails. Not content, he then hoists Grizz up and tosses him into the ring apron too. Stalling, squatting vertical suplex attempted, but he takes so long that Grizzly counters to a sleeper hold. Sadly he lacks the size to maintain that hold and normal service is resumed moments later with Erick easily throwing him around the ring. Bearhug applied, then a lunging headbutt to the gut as Redwood escapes it. Choo Choo isses though, allowing Grizz to land the sliding bulldog. Swinging DDT gets 2 but then Redwood attempts the ill-advised tope suicida and gets caught. Stevens tries to throw him into the ringpost…but this time Redwood counters! A shaven-headed Necro Butcher comes out to bash his old friend Grizzly with a steel chair, and that’s a disqualification at 07:05

Rating – ** – Fine for what it was, although if the plan was to have Necro Butcher interfere to cause a DQ, I could have done with this going much shorter as it was another match that really bored me. This incarnation of The Embassy does nothing for me either. Compared to the 2005 version with the likes of Jimmy Rave, Alex Shelley and Abyss a group with Erick Stevens, Necro Butcher and Shawn Daivari is just embarrassing.

Skullkrusher out to make the save…SPEAR ON STEVENS! Rasche just murdered Erick, then he and Necro fight through a swarm of jobbers to get to each other. Brown goes all Kobashi with machine gun chops, and in the melee Grizzly Redwood has recovered to start brawling with Nana too. Butcher tries to clobber Brown with the bell and gets press slammed off the apron instead! The Embassy try to escape…SO RASCHE THROWS GRIZZLY REDWOOD AT THEM! Really fun, chaotic segment there.

Roderick Strong (1) vs Colt Cabana (4) – Pick 6 Series Match
Lots of reasons to care about this one. Although Cabana forced his way into the Pick 6 last night when he defeated Chris Hero, the incentive is still there to climb higher so he can challenge for another title shot as soon as possible. Strong is currently the top contender to the belt and is the next scheduled challenger to it coming out of Tyler/Steen tomorrow night in Chicago. The main reason he’s got the next guaranteed shot is because he won the Toronto Gauntlet at Death Before Dishonor – in doing so beating Colt in the final match.

Colt’s pre-match hugfest is really funny. He then goes for a kiss with Roderick after Strong agrees to give him a clean break in the corner. Cabana then screams like he’s falling off a cliff when Strong manages to topple him out of the ring. As with most of his opponents, Strong really struggles to cope with Colt’s non-stop British technique and grows visibly frustrated. In the end it takes Truth Martini tripping Colt to hand Strong the advantage for the first time. He starts chopping Cabana, to which Colt bravely retorts with DOUBLE CHOPS of his own. Strong takes the match outside, using the guardrails and the solid floor to do some damage to his opponent’s midsection. Hanging DDT off the ropes to bring Colt back in gets 2. Abdominal stretch locked in, but since it’s on the mat that’s where Cabana has the edge and he finds a way to counter out. Double chops again, then the Flying Asshole for 2. Roderick starts UNLOADING stiff strikes, but still nearly falls victim to a Cabana flash pinfall. Death By Roderick blocked so he knees him in the stomach and turns him into the Stronghold. Colt’s mouth is POURING blood after that volley of strikes by the way. Strong BOOTS him again, leaving him knocked goofy on the turnbuckles. Superplex blocked…TURNBUCKLE GUTBUSTER ON STRONG FOR 2! Colt 45 blocked…Billy Goat’s Curse blocked…Martini blasts Cabana with the Book Of Truth! Death By Roderick into the Sick Kick and Strong wins in 14:23

Rating – *** – I know his clumsy potato shots really messed Colt up, but I thought Strong’s performance in this one was all kinds of good. Dumbrowski even referenced in commentary the amount of World Title matches he’s lost. But with the new House Of Truth entourage, a new attitude, the best physical condition of his career too…it’s very clear that Strong is doing all he can to make all the ROH fans believe that ‘this time’ is different. He was great here, playing the straight guy to Colt’s act well, then launching a savage attack on the funnyman when given the opportunity. For his part, Colt is excellent in these midcard pseudo-comedy matches, and worked an equally good one with Chris Hero yesterday.

GenerationMe vs American Wolves
Of course, GenMe are the Young Bucks, but they’ve been working under new names in TNA and they’ve brought thiose to ROH upon their return to the company. They now go by Max and Jeremy Buck (Nick is Jeremy) and have made themselves pretty popular with the Orlando crowds with the same fluid style that has been so impressive on the indies for the past 18+ months. This is actually the third match in the Wolves/Bucks trilogy, with the previous two having been extremely memorable HDNet encounters. The first saw the Wolves retain the ROH Tag Titles against the Bucks in one of the best HDNet matches of 2009, whilst the rematch saw Matt and Nick score an equalising victory and become #1 contenders to those belts in the process. Who wins the rubber match?

The Wolves get a hero’s welcome from the St Louis fans…even against the returning TNA guys. Max solidifies that by taking the microphone to sing up the virtues of living in Orlando and chastise the stand-in ring announcer for introducing them as the Young Bucks. Davey steals said microphone to tell everyone he lives in St Louis and thus both teams have ensured a super-hot, highly partisan crowd. Richards demands to start the match, and neither Buck seems particularly keen on going in there with him. Max slaps him in the face and almost sh*ts himself before diving out of the ring in full retreat. He tries the same thing again seconds later and takes a vicious kick to the stomach. Jeremy doesn’t fare any better as Edwards hammers him with chops. Richards starts bending him in half with the arm capture cloverleaf with Eddie pulling on him for extra torque. GenMe resort to cheating to give themselves the advantage – combining to start choking Davey in the corner. But the Wolves are no strangers to heel tactics, with Davey throwing Max out of the ring where Edwards is waiting to deliver a highly illegal but supremely efficient beatdown. Max Buck is trapped in the ring, taking a hell of a beating from the former ROH Tag Champions. He manages to deliver a low blow on Richards out of the eyesight of Todd Sinclair and manages to tag out to Jeremy at last. No matter, Richards drops him with a LOUD kick from the apron then lures Max across the ring and into an enzi kick from Eddie. The TV Champion heads to the top and jumps OVER Max into Jeremy with a missile dropkick. Shining enziguri on Max gets 2. GenMe sent outside for the Wolves to hit STEREO TOPE SUICIDAS! Back inside Max evades an Edwards double stomp, but runs straight into the Achilles Lock instead. He rakes the eyes and brings Jeremy Buck in…ASAI MOONSAULT on Davey!

Edwards boots him in the corner and climbs after him for a MASSIVE superplex and both men are down. Tags all round so it’s Davey/Max again. Buck manages to avoid all Davey’s kick attempts and lure him into a battle of pinning combinations instead. SKULL-RATTLING ENZI BY RICHARDS! SAITO SUPLEX GETS 2! Sh*t just got real! Max runs away from Davey into the slingshot codebreaker from Eddie…but Jeremy with superkicks for everyone! TOMBSTONE FROM MAX TO DAVEY GETS 2! Eddie drags Jeremy back to the outside as Richards turns Max into the anklelock. Jeremy saves again, going to a sequence of spots with everyone dumping offence on everyone else. ANKLELOCK…COUNTERED TO A REVERSE RANA! DAVEY NO SELLS! LARIATOOOOOOOO! Eddie/Jeremy again, dropping elbow smash bombs on each other at an unrelenting pace. PALM STRIKES by Edwards, and when the elbows don’t work they trade mafia kicks instead. SUPERKICK GERMAN gets the Wolves a nearfall. ROPE RUN GERMAN SUPERPLEX FROM DAVEY TO JEREMY! DOUBLE STOMP TO THE BACK GETS 2! Max throws Richards into the guardrails…CANNONBALL OFF THE APRON BY JEREMY! BACKFLIP CUTTER FROM MAX TO EDWARDS! Richards returns to save his partner from More Bang For Your Buck and he engages in a CRAZY kicking sequence with both Bucks at the same time. More Bang For Your Buck…EDDIE CATCHES JEREMY IN MID-F*CKING AIR! DOOMSDAY LUNGBLOWER BY THE WOLVES! ACHILLES LOCK WITH FACE STOMPS! IT’S OVER! Jeremy taps the match away 21:24

Rating – **** – Two nights, two show-stealing tag team encounters by the American Wolves. The craziest part is, as good as this match was, I think this was my least favourite of the Wolves/Bucks ROH trilogy. That last 5-7 minutes was absolute mayhem, but for my taste the opening quarter was very much copy and paste, bland stuff and I think both teams are better than that. I’m not convinced by the Young Bucks as heels either. I know they’re very good at it in PWG, but they’re so little, and they do such crowd-pleasing, flashy, aerial offence I personally have a hard time buying into them as the bad guys…although it was made easier by the thunderous Collinsville crowd who were 100% behind Edwards and Richards.

Davey takes the mic again, this time to demand the hardest match the bookers can find when Ring Of Honor next returns to St Louis.

Austin Aries/Kenny King/Rhett Titus vs Tyler Black/Jerry Lynn/Delirious
This is a rematch from ROH on HDNet Episode 065, when the issues between these six guys saw emotions run so high that the match went to a chaotic non-finish. The reality is that, for a variety of reasons, these two trios just don’t like each other. Things weren’t settled in Philadelphia at the television tapings, so they’re going to try again tonight.

Delirious interrupts A-Double as he makes his now customary pre-match promo and just like that the fight is on. Team Aries clear the ring, then miss pescado’s in tandem to leave the babyface team celebrating instead. Straight away Delirious is in hot pursuit of Aries whilst Lynn goes after Kenny King and starts biting him like a madman. In the ring Tyler and Rhett start to get a semblance of a normal match going, with the World Champion in control. His team take King hostage, holding him in their corner and relentlessly beating on him. He brings Titus back, but he doesn’t do any better and eats a triple dropkick from all of his opponents. Jerry fights both ANX guys by himself, and succumbs to the superior numbers – turning the match in Team Aries’ direction for the first time. Aries himself actually tags into the match for the first time once his partners have beaten Lynn down…but uses his involvement as a front for hitting Delirious with a cheap shot then leaving again. The heat segment on Lynn isn’t particularly attractive, but the heel unit do a real job picking the veteran apart. The mistake they make is to piss Jerry off by attempting a spike piledriver, and such is his rage that they’re trying to do that to him again he breaks free and makes the vital tag to Tyler Black. King catches him going for the Springboard Lariat…but then has the Royal Flush countered with the Pele Kick. F-5 on Aries, and in comes Delirious to squash A-Double with Shadows Over Hell. Cobra Stretch applied but Titus saves his mentor with the leapfrog Rocker Dropper. Lynn gives him the guillotine leg drop…then gets hung in the ropes by King’s guillotine. Black takes out the All Nights with a somersault plancha, meaning it’s Delirious alone with Aries again. Kick Of Death, then Austin puts Delirious in his own Cobra Stretch. Daizee Haze distracts Aries…and Delirious pins him at 15:43

Rating – ** – This was ok, but just went on for so long and was so boring in the middle I honestly can’t justify giving it a higher rating. The finish was so depressingly predictable too. I credit Adam Pearce with being at the helm of a real ROH resurgence (in live event quality anyway) thus far this year, but his booking style is so limited that I’m already bored. Hopefully when Delirious himself takes the booking duties next month we’ll get a fresher approach that doesn’t feel so stale already.

Aries is so pissed off with that he grabs Daizee Haze and leaves the arena. Delirious gives chase, with the ANX hot on his heels…and as all that happens Kevin Steen runs in and attacks Tyler – slamming his shoulder into the ringpost then putting him in the Crippler Crossface. Enter El Generico…

Kevin Steen vs El Generico
This would be the titular ‘chapter 2’ in the rivalry between these two. They kick-started the last iPPV in spectacular fashion with a scorching hot opening match which Steen just shaded. But the fact that Generico, a guy he kicked to the curb as a weak link, then chastised and berated as a broken man and a failure for the first few months of 2010, took Steen to the limit was quite the statement and neither man got the closure they required to end the feud that night in Toronto. Will that happen tonight?

Generico spends most of the first minute beating Steen around ringside, but Mr Wrestling rakes his eyes and fights right back. Generico responds by throttling him right in front of an El Generico fan in the front row which is a nice touch since you KNOW that would piss Steen off. Clearly it did as when they get back in the ring Kevin is dominant, beating down his former partner and shutting down any potential comebacks with more rakes of the eyes. TURNBUCKLE EXPOIDA out of nowhere brings Generico back into things and forces Steen to retreat. APRON POWERBOMB ON GENERICO! Great strategy from Steen to leave the ring as El Generico looked to be gaining some momentum…and then he drags Generico over to the same El Generico fan and starts beating on him in front of him. There’s an AMAZING few moments where Steen beats on Generico and screams at the fan to take his replica mask off…and every time he says ‘no’ punches him in the face. Steen’s performance as a heel is simply outstanding, and you get an idea how powerful it really is by how loudly the fans explode when Generico finally retaliates with a Yakuza Kick. ARABIAN PRESS TO THE FLOOR! But the luchador barely connected with Steen and rattled his own skull on the railings so both men stay down. Steen wants to leave…TORNADO DDT ON THE RAMP! Having dragged Kevin back to the ring, Generico gets 2 with a Michinoku Driver. Yakuza Kick COUNTERED with a superkick, then a gutbuster. STEEN MOONSAULT FOR 2! Pumphandle cradlebreaker blocked…PUMPHANDLE SUPLEX INSTEAD! Both men fight on the turnbuckles next – dangerous territory for Steen since Generico’s most dangerous weapon occurs there. AVALANHE FISHERMAN BUSTER! That’s how Steen won in Toronto but tonight Generico kicks at 2! Package Piledriver countered. SUPERKICK…NO SOLD! BRAINBUSTER BY GENERICO! Steen then powerbombs him to block another Yakuza. Steen-ton Bomb only connects with his knees though, and this time he does hit the Yakuza. ROLLING HALF NELSON SUPLEXES! He can’t hit the Turnbuckle Brainbuster though, and Generico has to settle for booting Steen out of the ring instead. THROUGH THE TURNBUCKLES DDT…BLOCKED WITH A CHAIR TO THE FACE! That’s a disqualification at 16:08

Rating – **** – The finish was horrible, but excluding that I loved this match. I know most people have said that Death Before Dishonor 8 was better but I much preferred this one. It lacked the organic excitement of Toronto, but the performances of both wrestlers here were simply incredible. Kevin Steen is at his absolute apex right now – easily one of the best heels in wrestling anywhere. That was never more apparent than here with his demented, psychotic bullying of Generico during the match. And, there are very few more sympathetic and talented pure babyface workers anywhere in wrestling than El Generico. For a guy in a mask, his facials and body language are so good that they suck you into his emotions. They MAKE you care about his plight. At this point in their careers, putting these two in the ring together is absolute money. I just wish we could have done something more inventive than an easy DQ finish to keep the feud going…

Generico is out cold and is powerless to do anything as Kevin Steen pulls out a steel chain and starts assaulting a referee (and Colt Cabana who rocked up at ringside too). Generico recovers enough to help out…and they start brawling through the crowd. He finds a table in the crowd and sets Steen up on it. FLYING SPLASH OFF THE HARD CAM SCAFFOLD THROUGH THE TABLE! He then goes back onto the scaffold to pose victorious as his music hits. As Dumbrowski says on commentary – ‘Generico wins chapter 2’.

Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli/Sara Del Rey vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe/Amazing Kong
Given that the Kings memorably defeated the Briscoes in a bloody No DQ war at Death Before Dishonor 8, retaining the ROH Tag Titles in the process, once again Jay and Mark have to go back to the drawing board and earn another title shot. Beating the Kings in non-title action such as this certainly puts them back in the picture for another rematch. However, in this main event it’s not just the men we need to worry about. Sara, already an established threat when wrestling men in other promotions such as Chikara, will want revenge for the Jay Driller she endured at Supercard Of Honor 5. Kong will definitely be out for some of the same after Del Rey used Chris Hero’s ‘lucky’ elbow pad to beat her the same evening. There are no limitations whatsoever here so Kong and Sara are free to work the men should they choose to.

Dave Prazak clearly takes great pride in announcing that this is the first time that women have ever main evented a Ring Of Honor show – and as one of North America’s biggest supporters of female pro-wrestlers he absolutely should. Hero starts the match…and you’d better believe Kong has no intention of backing down from him. He quickly opts to tag Claudio instead…and he cheaply boots her in the stomach rather than fight her. Sara back…and they start KILLING each other with stiff shots. It quickly breaks down to a six person brawl on the floor – highlights include Kong murdering Sara against the rails, and Claudio using Hagadorn’s tie to choke Jay whilst Shane is still wearing it. Back inside Kong joins her partners for a TRIPLE football tackle spot on the Kings. The Briscoes are SO fired up for this Mark actually overwhelms Hero in a strike exchange before Kong gets her hands on him, splatting him in the corner for a body avalanche. Claudio in to Bicycle Kick Mark, then Del Rey floors him with a superkick for 2. With a little help from her partners, Death Rey continues to put the boots to the younger Briscoe brother and at 10 minutes it’s the Kings (+Queen) of Wrestling in full control. I like how Sara keeps sprinting into the opposition corner to take a cheap shot at Kong every time she tags in. There’s an awesome moment where Mark kicks Del Rey down and tries to go for a tag, only for Sara to get right back up and SMASH him with a forearm.

She knocks him back into her corner with such force that he’s motionless enough for Castagnoli to deliver the Bronco Buster. Mark finally blocks the suplex/elbow combo from the Kings and gets the hot tag to Jay who empties the ring in a hurry. FLATLINER ON DEL REY INTO CLAUDIO’S BALLS! DVD gets 2! Castagnoli comes back with a springboard uppercut. Suplex/elbow combo on Jay by the Kings, then the capo kick from Sara for good measure. BIG SWING/FLASH KICK FOR 2! DISREPECTFUL KICKS BY SARA! But Jay gets up and FLOORS her with an elbow smash. Kong tagged…and the Kings REFUSE to tag in! They leave Sara in the ring for Kong to hit a WARRIOR SPLASH for 2. IMPLANT BUSTER! Now her back is turned the Kings finally get involved with her. Except she starts fighting both of them! Del Rey nearly pins her in the melee with a schoolboy. German suplex blocked…and Hero BOOTS Kong in the face! DEATH BLOW COUNTERED TO A BACKSLIDE FOR 2! ROARING ELBOW ON KONG! BUT SHE KICKS OUT! He drags her up by the dreads…AND SHE HAMMERS HIM WITH A ROARING ELBOW! SPNNING BACKFIST ON HERO! SPLASH MOUNTAIN NECKBREAKER! AMAZING PRESS! CLAUDIO SAVES! Everyone spills outside…then runs gets taken down as Kong his a CROSSBODY OFF THE APRON! Sara saves Hero from the Doomsday Device…DOOMSDAY UPPERCUT BY THE KINGS! Mark then saves Jay from the KRS-1, allowing Jay to pin Hero at 23:23

Rating – **** – This was so much fun I actually have it down as Match of the Night even over Wolves/GenMe and Steen/Generico. This main event is totally unique in Ring Of Honor, in that I can’t remember them ever being in a position to put on men vs women interactions with such credibility and total believability. Sara getting in there with the Briscoes, or Kong with the Kings never felt forced or gimmicky at all. This was a match with 6 people legitimately wanting to fight, and the male/female exchanges, when they occurred felt totally natural – and as such very enjoyable. Kong and Hero, in particular, had great sequences and I’m almost disappointed Pearce didn’t have more guts, put Kong over the Kings and put us in the intriguing position of Kong potentially challenging for the ROH Tag Titles. I’ll admit that would be a tad gimmicky, but Amazing Kong is THAT good that I’d pay to see it. In time when ROH has done so many repeat matches, rematches and rehashes, this one was a breath of fresh air and unlike anything we’ve seen in ROH before or since.

Tape Rating – *** – Most of the undercard was pretty mediocre, but the three main event matches all delivered so it’s hard not to give this show a 3* minimum. If you didn’t see the Wolves/Bucks HDNet matches then this DVD is a must-own because those teams have great chemistry together. The main event is a lot of fun, and Steen/Generico II is strong as well. If none of the ‘main event’ matches appeal to you, then hands down you won’t like this. As far as secondary ROH events go though, this one was pretty decent.

Top 3 Matches
3) El Generico vs Kevin Steen (****)
2) American Wolves vs GenerationMe (****)
1) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe/Amazing Kong vs Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli/Sara Del Rey (****)

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