Dayton, OH – 2.25.2011
ROH World Champion: Roderick Strong
ROH Television Champion: Christopher Daniels
ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)
Commentary is provided by Dave Prazak & Kevin Kelly.
Jay Briscoe vs. Kyle O’Reilly
O’Reilly goes immediately for a cross armbreaker but Jay grabs the ropes to break. Jay puts on a front facelock on the mat. Jay shoulder blocks O’Reilly down and follows up with a leg lariat for two. O’Reilly boots Jay as he comes into the corner. O’Reilly drops him with a pair of butterfly suplexes and a butterfly DDT for two. Jay knocks him down with a big boot. O’Reilly and Jay trade forearms. Jay boots O’Reilly down and lands a leg drop for two. O’Reilly tries to come back with chops, but it only takes one big overhand chop for Jay to stop him. O’Reilly kicks Jay down to the mat. O’Reilly boots Jay off the apron and into the barricade. O’Reilly dives off the apron with a missile dropkick. In the ring, O’Reilly hits a top rope dropkick. Jay retaliates with a mafia kick. Jay hits a Michinoku driver for two. Jay catches O’Reilly with a Death Valley Driver for two. O’Reilly slips out of the Jay Driller. He drops Jay with a dragon suplex for two. Jay catches O’Reilly on the top rope. Jay superplexes him to the mat for two. They once again trade forearms. They each hit a superkick. Jay blocks a rolling lariat. He knocks O’Reilly down with a big boot and a lariat for two. Jay finally hits the Jay Driller for the pn at 7:47. This was a hot, hard-hitting opener that got a reaction out of the usually sleepy Dayton crowd. O’Reilly is flat out awesome and will someday be a top guy in the company. He and Jay were perfect opponents for each other here, meaning it’s only a matter of time before their respective teams meet. **3/4
Steve Corino & Grizzly Redwood vs. The Bravado Bros. (Harlem & Lance Bravado)
Corino requested Redwood to be his partner in his continued attempt to help out the up and comers in ROH. Corino asks the Bravado’s if their grandmother would be proud of what they have been doing, causing the Bravado’s to freak out and attack Redwood and Corino. The fight spills to the floor where Redwood and Corino take control. Corino dropkicks Lance. He avoids a second dropkick and tags in Harlem. The Bravado’s knock Corino down with stereo elbows for one. Corino avoids a back splash and tags in Redwood. Redwood takes Harlem down with a satellite headscissors. He hits the short stack for two. Redwood applies an abdominal stretch. Harlem throws Redwood into Corino. Lance runs in and hits a suplex/neck breaker combo on Redwood for two. Redwood gets isolated and worn down by The Bravado’s in their corner. Redwood comes back by hitting Lance with an enzuigiri. Corino tags in and nails both Bravado’s with forearms. Corino drops them at the same time with a Colby Shock/DDT combo. Corino puts on the abdominal stretch and fights putting his thumb in the bum. The Bravado’s double team Corino, but Redwood breaks the count. Harlem gives Corino an enzuigiri and Lance German suplexes him for two. Redwood knocks them down with a top rope dropkick. Corino hits the Eternal Dream on Lance. Harlem rolls up Corino and holds his tights for the victory at 9:04. I get that the Bravado’s cheating puts over their character, but I hope it’s leading somewhere because without some decisive victories these guys are going to stay at their level. Redwood’s actually quite good, but ROH just doesn’t know what to do with him. Everyone did a good job, but this didn’t cultivate into much even with their hard work. *1/2
Mark Briscoe vs. Mike Bennett
Mark takes Bennett to the mat in a wristlock. Mark throws Bennett down to break and overhead wristlock. Mark armdrags him over. Bennett puts on a headlock, which Mark reverses into a side headlock. Bennett shrugs off a shoulder block and hits one of his own. Mark connects with a spinwheel kick. Bennett evades a corner splash. Mark nails a neckbreaker for two. Mark sends Bennett to the floor with a running knee strike. Mark follows with a tope con hilo. Bennett’s manager Bob Evans distracts him. Bennett dropkicks Mark in mid-air as Mark comes off the top rope. Bennett catches Mark with a backbreaker in the ropes for two. Bennett goes for the Side Effect. Mark eblows his way free and hits a superkick. Mark gives Bennett a little redneck kung-fu before dropping him with a Northern Lights suplex for two. Mark follows up with a Finlay roll and a tumbleweed senton for two. Bennett drops Mark with a spinebuster for two. Bob Evans gets on the apron to argue with the ref. Mark O’Conner rolls Bennett and knocks Evans off the apron for two. Mark goes up top after an enzuigiri. Evans gets on the apron again, causing Mark to get in his face. Bennett low blows Mark and hits the Side Effect for the pin at 9:23. Getting Bennett over with the crowd is going to be an uphill battle on a steep slope and matches like this do him no favors. While Bennett may be a solid enough wrestler, he is completely uninteresting. Mark tried his damndest and did a fine job, but it takes a lot to get anything good out of Bennett. Sometimes you have to go beyond wrestling to find what you need in the ring. *1/2
Colt Cabana vs. Rhett Titus vs. Andy Ridge vs. Mike Mondo
Mondo attacks Cabana and Titus attacks Ridge at the bell. Cabana and Ridge clothesline their opposition to the floor. Cabana throws Ridge onto Titus and Mondo. They catch Ridge, so Cabana dives out after them. Mondo blind tags himself in. Cabana clothesline him down, and Titus tags in. Cabana hip tosses Titus and Mondo, pinning them both for two. Titus kicks Cabana in the face and tags in Mondo. Cabana blocks an O’Conner roll. Titus slingshots himself in with a shoulder block to Mondo. Mondo sends Cabana to the floor as he and Titus team up against Ridge. Cabana pulls Ridge out of a dive, causing Mondo to splash Titus instead. Ridge tags in Cabana who gives Mondo and Titus the Flip Flop & Fly. He then hits them both with the Flying Asshole and a quebrada for two. Mondo avoids a second one and nails Cabana with a blockbuster for two. Titus and Mondo turn against each other, allowing Ridge to hit them both with a flying crossbody. Ridge nails Titus with a knee to the head. He lights up Mondo with kicks in the corner. Cabana drops Ridge off his shoulders and punches Titus as he comes off the second rope. Titus dropkicks Cabana to the corner and lawn darts Ridge into the corner. Cabana drops Titus stomach first on the top rope. Mondo O’Conner rolls Cabana. Cabana rolls through and puts on the Billy Goat’s Curse. Mondo taps out at 8:37. This was a wasted opportunity for someone like Ridge or Titus to score a nice win. Instead, they had Cabana defeat the one guy in this match no one gives a crap about. A decent match with a puzzling ending. *1/2
Christopher Daniels vs. Michael Elgin
Elgin is accompanied by Truth Martini. Elgin shoulder blocks Daniels multiple times in the corner. Elgin slams him down. Elgin uses his powerful strikes to knock Daniels down. Daniels sends Elgin to the floor after kicking him in the face. Daniels hits a baseball slide an Arabian Press to the floor. In the ring, Daniels gives Elgin a seated lariat to the back of his neck. Elgin fires up but gets kicked back down. Martini distracts Daniels long enough for Elgin to give him a Samoan Drop for two. Daniels gives him a few chops but then gets mowed down with a shoulder tackle. Elgin whips Daniels into the corner. Elgin rams Daniels back first into the barricade and applies a Boston Crab on the floor. Elgin breaks and gets into the ring. Daniels gets back at the count of nineteen. Daniels gives Elgin some chops. Elgin grabs Daniels’ arms and stomps him down to the mat. Elgin places Daniels on the top rope and follows up. Daniels swings into a guillotine choke. Elgin breaks and Daniels plants him face first into the second turnbuckle. Daniels knocks him down with a clothesline. Daniels hits another Arabian Press for two. Daniels comes off the top with a crossbody for two. Elgin gives Daniels repeated elbows. He drops Daniels with a pump-handle Falcon Arrow for two. Elgin nails him with a lariat for two. Daniels ducks a rolling clothesline and connects with an enzuigiri. Truth gets on the apron to prevent Daniels from hitting Angel’s Wings. Elgin stampedes Daniels to the corner and hit a spin-out uranage slam for two. Truth gives Elgin some advice from the Book of Truth. Elgin looks for a powerbomb, but Daniels escapes and rolls up Elgin for the pin at 14:54. Unlike Bennett, Elgin has a ton of upside. He’s big and comes off as a legitimate threat to guys like Daniels right away. They had a good back and forth that made Elgin look good even in losing. I really look forward to seeing more of him. **3/4
Elgin attacks Daniels after the bell. El Generico comes out to help Daniels, since Elgin is his opponent tomorrow night. Truth and Elgin bail, leaving behind the Book of Truth. Daniels takes the book with him and decides to give it a glance backstage.
Homicide vs. El Generico
This match came as a result at what happened back at “Only The Strong Survive”. Homicide mocks Generico, but changes his tune once he sees Generico has some ability. Homicide bites Generico’s fingers and pounds on him in the corner. Homicide brings Generico to the mat and goes after his mask. Generico gets in the ropes to get him off. Homicide gives him a Manhattan drop, but Generico responds with a leg lariat. Homicide pitches Generico to the floor. Generico goes right back in and Homicide angrily comes back in as well. Generico gives him a few punches in the corner. Homicide frees himself by biting Generico’s leg and pitches him back to the floor. They throw each other into the barricade. Homicide slams a plastic container on Generico’s shoulder. Homicide gives Generico a neck breaker on the floor. In the ring, Homicide gives Generico the Two Amigos. Homicide goes for a face wash, but Generico knocks him down with a clothesline beforehand. Generico walks the ropes and comes down with a swinging DDT for two. Generico drops him with a Michinoku driver for two. Homicide evades a yakuza kick and takes Generico over with a second rope huracanrana for two. Generico evades the Cop Killa and an ace crusher. Homicide evades a brainbuster and knocks Generico down with a lariat for two. Generico suplexes Homicide into the turnbuckles for two. Homicide eats a yakuza kick in the corner and gets placed on the top turnbuckle. Homicide turns Generico’s mask sideways and pushes him down. Homicide hits an ace crusher for the pin at 12:33. I don’t know what’s up with Homicide, but he has been less than spectacular since returning to ROH. These two just didn’t mesh well and this match was quite disappointing. The terrible finish didn’t help things at all. **1/4
Eddie Edwards vs. Kenny King
This is a rematch of sorts from Survival of the Fittest last November. Edwards and King look for control on the mat but end up at a stalemate. Edwards nails King with a flying knee strike after King does a backflip. Edwards hits a back elbow for two. Edwards stretches out King’s chin and leg. King grabs the ropes to break. King sends Edwards to the floor with an enzuigiri. King hops off the barricade into a legdrop. King knocks him down with a clothesline for two. Edwards begins to comeback but King eye rakes him to stop it. King stretches Edwards’s back out. Edwards catches King with a flying knee strike. Edwards goes up top. King cuts him off with an enzuigiri. Edwards blocks the Royal Flush but gets suplexed into the corner. Edwards kicks King and double stomps him on the apron. Both guys fall to the floor. King hops onto the barricade and Edwards shoves him into the crowd. Edwards dives onto him. In the ring, Edwards nails King with a superkick. Edwards comes off the second rope with a Code Breaker. Edwards hits a Tiger suplex for two. Edwards runs into a spinwheel kick from King for two. King slams Edwards chest first on the mat for two. Edwards and King trade strikes and kicks. Edwards nails him with a lariat. King avoids a top rope doublestomp and blasts Edwards with shotgun knees for two. King bites Edwards’ head on the top rope. Edwards drops King with a gord buster from the top rope. He doublestomps King. Edwards blocks a spinwheel kick with a dragonscrew. Edwards applies a modified Achilles Lock and King taps out at 18:43. This brought back life into the crowd and had them going nuts by the end, so by that measure it was a big success. Both these guys are held in high regard by ROH and it’s easy to see why; they work their butts off and damn near saved this show from being in a coma. ***1/4
Davey Richards & Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Roderick Strong & The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)
Richards win the opening exchange with Claudio. Hero boots Richards to break a Fujiwara armbar. Strong tags in and applies an arm-capture chinlock. Richards turns him into a sharpshooter which Hero breaks. Benjamin tags in Strong and delivers a flurry of strikes. Haas tags in. Benjamin slams Strong across Haas’ knee for two. Strong nails Haas with a leg lariat and tags in Hero. Hero stomps on Haas’ chest and head. Claudio delivers some uppercuts to Haas in the corner. Haas ducks a clothesline and takes Claudio over with a headscissors. He follows up with a belly-to-belly suplex and Hero breaks the pin. Benjamin tags back in and gives Claudio’s arm a double axe handle. Benjamin armdrags Claudio down and drops multiple knees on his arm. Claudio backs Benjamin to his corner and Hero eye rakes him from the apron. Strong and The Kings isolate Benjamin in their corner and work over his left arm. Benjamin escapes by hitting Claudio with a hard right punch. Richards tags in and dropkicks Claudio to the corner. Richards lights him up with kicks and goes up top. Richards blocks Hero’s attempt to knock him down and gives Claudio a crossbody for one. Claudio headbutts Richards in the stomach. Richards fights off Claudio and Hero. Claudio catches a kick from the floor and Hero yakuza kicks Richards off the ring apron and into the barricade. The Kings and Strong take the opportunity to now isolate Richards from his team. At one point when it seems Richards was close to escape, the opposition slammed him on the floor. Richards finally comes back with a missile dropkick to Claudio. Benjamin tags in and lights up Hero with punches. Hero monkey flips Benjamin, but Benjamin turns it into a Stinger Splash on Claudio. He takes Hero down with an enzuigiri. Haas catapults Strong onto Benjamin’s shoulders for a Samoan drop. Benjamin suplexes Hero for two. Hero cracks Benjamin with a rolling boot. Benjamin falls victim to the King’s Swing. Haas breaks the pin and gets pitched to the floor by Hero. Claudio chokeslams Benjamin for two. Benjamin drops Claudio with a neckbreaker. Haas tags in and suplexes Strong. He clotheslines Hero to the floor. Benjamin superkicks Claudio. Haas puts Claudio in the Haas of Pain. Richards gives Claudio a diving headbut in the submission and comes out to the floor with a pescado to Strong. Hero breaks the submission. Hero goes for the head stomp/rolling elbow combo but Benjamin counters with the Pay Dirt. Richards and Strong end up the legal men. Strong delivers a boot and Richards hits an enzuigiri. A german suplex gets Richards two. Strong and Richards trade kicks and strikes. Richards hits another enzuigiri after Strong blocks the alarm clock. Both Kings break the pin. The Kings and WGTT fight to the back. Strong hits a modified Doctor Bomb on Richards for two. Richards blocks a backbreaker with a crucifix pin for two. Strong hits a gut buster and a superkick for two. Richards fights Strong off the top rope. Strong catches Richards’ top rope dropkick and applies a Boston Crab. Richards counters into a pin attempt for two. Richards ducks an elbow and applies a cross armbreaker. Richards connects with the alarm clock and a swinging DDT. He Falcon Arrows Strong into a cross armbreaker. Strong taps at 32:14. This had lots of great action, which is to be expected from these guys. However, it was needlessly long and didn’t mean much of anything long term. Sure, Richards beat the World champion and was going to get a title shot against him…except, that never happened. The title changed hands before Edwards could get the match. It boils down to this; the match was good and effectively built two feuds. However, I’ve already seen those feuds take place in the ring many times and this felt like “just another good match”. ***3/4
This had two problems that similar shows over the past few months have had: the majority of top talent was in the main event which had the rest of the card suffer (just like at Champions vs. All Stars) and it felt like a complete after thought to the internet PPV occuring the next night (much like Tag Title Classic II). Aside from the opening match and King/Edwards, the undercard had nothing special to offer whatosever. The main event was quite good, but then again there’s tons of other matches just like it. Fortunately for ROH, the company seems to have taken a turn for the better with many quality shows and matches taking place recently. For that, I suggest skipping this show and spending your time and money on the truly great stuff.