Plymouth, MA – 3.18.2011
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.
Mike Bennett and Brutal Bob Evans come out to the ring. Bennett is excited about his shot at the Television Championship and says there is no way he’s going to lose. Bennett says he’s going to take down “old man Daniels” and take the title back to Boston. He puts down Plymouth as a town to get a rise out of the crowd (and hey, it works). He then turns his attention to Steve Corino and says that he got in his way. He says he plans to take out Daniels just like he did Corino. This brings Corino out to the ring. He defends Christopher Daniels because he believes if Bennett were more honorable, his overconfidence wouldn’t get the best of him. Bennett says that his confidence got him a title shot while Corino is stuck teaming with Grizzly Redwood. Corino tells Bennett that if he had half the honor Grizzly did, he’d be the champion right now. Corino advises Bennett that if he wants to be a star to pull his head out of his ass. Bennett says he’s already a star thanks to Brutal Bob. Corino says the people are what make someone a star. Corino says that even though he’s on the path to recovery, but he’ll still kick Bennett’s ass all over New York City tomorrow night. Evans gets in Corino’s face and throws a toothpick in his face. Corino knocks Evans out with a punch. Bennett bails before Corino can give him one as well. He and Evans head to the back. Corino warns Bennett to worry about him and not the TV title.
Backstage, The Embassy (Prince Nana, Tommaso Ciampa, Barrister RD Evans, Princess Mia, and Ernesto Osiris) are standing by. Nana puts over Ciampa. Evans says The Embassy is true royalty and everyone will know their role when it comes to The Embassy.
Mark Briscoe vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Mark and O’Reilly take each other down to the mat. Mark takes him down with a hip toss. O’Reilly sweeps the leg for one. Mark does the same. They both throw dropkicks and reach a stalemate. Mark knocks him down with a shoulder block. Mark connects with a spinwheel kick for one. Mark delivers a suplex for two. Mark whips O’Reilly to the corner. O’Reilly runs out but gets caught with an overhead suplex for two. Mark brings O’Reilly to the floor where they trade chops. Mark delivers an overhand chop and throws O’Reilly into the barricade. In the ring, O’Reilly delivers two butterfly suplexes. Mark delivers two Northern Lights suplexes. O’Reilly blocks a third and butterfly suplexes Mark into a cross armbreaker. Mark rolls him up to break it, then turns O’Reilly inside out with a clothesline for two. O’Reilly puts on a leg submission. Mark breaks free and delivers a Finlay Roll. Mark misses a tumbleweed senton. O’Reilly delivers some kicks and palm strikes. O’Reilly connect with a running forearm. O’Reilly blocks a suplex to the floor and boots Mark down instead. He comes off the apron with a missile dropkick. In the ring O’Reilly hits a top rope dropkick for two. Mark delivers a running hip attack in the corner. He suplexes O’Reilly for two. Mark hits an enzuigiri. O’Reilly escapes the Cut-Throat Driver and kicks Mark in the head for two. O’Reilly applies a crossface. O’Reilly and Mark trade strikes. Mark delivers a superkick and a powerbomb. He comes off the top with a frog elbow for the pin at 11:09. This was just as good as O’Reilly’s match with Jay Briscoe. This makes me look forward to Cole & O’Reilly’s tag match against The Briscoes at “Honor Takes Center Stage”. **3/4
Steve Corino & Grizzly Redwood vs. The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus)
Titus backs Corino to the corner and breaks clean. Corino does the same but has to resist punching Titus in the corner. Titus punches Corino in the face. Corino armdrags him over and tags in Redwood. Redwood hops over Titus and delivers two armdrags. Redwood tags Corino back in. Corino hits a double axe handle as Redwood holds Titus’ arm. Titus evades a dropkick. He misses an elbow and Corino takes him down with another armdrag. Redwood tags in and delivers a huracanarana. Titus levels Redwood with a clothesline and tags in King. The All Night Express wear down Redwood for a bit before Corino comes in and helps him take down King and Titus with hip tosses. Titus gets knocked down. King delivers shotgun knees to Corino for two. The Express isolate Corino in their corner. Corino escapes their grasp with the Colby Shock/DDT combo. Redwood tags in and knocks both Titus and King down with a top rope dropkick. He delivers a low bulldog to King for two. Redwood sends Titus into the corner with a huracanrana, then drops King with a tornado DDT for two. Redwood and Corino put on stereo abdominal stretches. King throws Redwood into Corino to escape. King delivers a blockbuster across Titus’ knees for two. Redwood rolls up King for two. Corino accidentally hits Redwood with the Emerald Dream. Titus rids of Corino with a Thrust Buster. King gives Redwood and spin-out backbreaker. Titus comes off the top with a knee strike. King pins Redwood for the victory at 13:41. The All Night Express continue to deliver, quickly ascending to be equals with the rest of the top teams in the company. Corino and Redwood also made for a formidable tandem and put in a good showing as a unit. **1/2
Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Ciampa is accompanied by the rest of The Embassy. Ciampa and Cole nail each other with forearms. A collar and elbow tie-up sees them spill out to the floor. Ciampa throws Cole face first to the mat. Ciampa and Cole go back and forth till Ciampa knocks Cole down with a dropkick. Ciampa forcefully whips Cole to the corner. Ciampa snapmares him into a piin for two. Cole delivers a pair of armdrags. Cole delivers a Manhattan drop and a fisherman’s suplex for two. Cole dropkicks Ciampa to the floor. Ciampa trips Cole off the apron. Cole whips Ciampa into the barricade. Ciampa clotheslines Cole off the apron to the floor. Ciampa baits Cole into trying a crossbody. He ducks, getting sent out to the floor. Princess Mia knocks him down with a beautiful spin kick. Ciampa runs Cole back first into a ring post. Ciampa whips Cole into the corner and throws forearms to his back. He clotheslines Cole as he’s hung in the ropes for two. Ciampa delivers a running knee strike to a seated Cole in the corner. Cole leapfrogs over Ciampa and knocks him down with a pair of back elbows and a clothesline. Cole hits a leaping leg lariat. Cole sends Ciampa to the floor with a superkick. Cole lands on Ernesto Osiris when he goes for a pescado. Cole wheelbarrow suplexes Ciampa into the ring frame. In the ring Cole gets a two count. Ciampa drops Cole with a torture rack face buster for two. Cole blocks a powerbomb with a roll-up for two. Ciampa applies a modified Anaconda Vice. Cole tries a few different pin attempts but can’t get a three count. They trade strikes on their knees. Ciampa delivers a release German suplex. Cole retaliates with two superkicks and a German suplex for two. Cole hits a wheelbarrow back cracker. Prince Nana distracts the referee to prevent a count. Ciampa low blows Cole behind his back. He delivers Project Ciampa 2 for the pin at 14:05. This match shows that ROH’s future is very bright with stars like these two. Finish aside, this was an excellent wrestling match that showed just how talented both guys are. ***
Cole and O’Reilly are backstage, upset that they both lost tonight. The Bravado Bros. come up and sarcastically console them. They say that Cole and O’Reilly should watch them tonight if they want to know what winners look like.
Chris Hero vs. TJ Perkins
Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn accompany Hero to the ring. Hero and Perkins take it to the mat, where Hero picks up Perkins and drops him on his mid-section. Perkins takes Hero back down with a headscissors. Hero slaps Perkins then takes control of his arm. Perkins cartwheels into a dropkick. Perkins wins a short engage with double knees to Hero’s shoulders. Perkins goes for a cross armbreaker, but Hero grabs the ropes quickly. Perkins blocks an elbow and kicks Hero in the chest twice. Hero cracks him with a yakuza kick. Hero drops down with a senton. Perkins delivers a forearm and Hero connects with an elbow. Hero boots Perkins off the apron and into the barricades. Hero elbows Perkins and heads back into the ring. Perkins crawls back in, only to be met with a low running kick from Hero for two. Perkins fires up from Hero’s strikes. Hero angrily elbows Perkins to the mat. Perkins catches Hero with a huracanrana. Perkins dumps Hero the floor and follows with a suicide dive. In the ring, Perkins puts Hero in a modified Octopus stretch. Hero grabs the ropes to break the hold. Perkins lays in a flurry of kicks in the corner. Hero blocks a kick and clocks Perkins with another elbow for two. Perkins puts on a sharpshooter. Hero again gets the ropes to break. Hero stomps on Perkins’ head and cracks him with a rolling elbow for two. Hero drops Perkins with a running Liger Bomb for two. Perkins backslides Hero for two. Perkins ducks a rolling elbow. He small packages Hero for two. Perkins kicks Hero in the side of the head. He drops Hero off his shoulders into a kick to the face. Perkins hits a flying knee strike. Hero hits a rolling elbow and a rolling boot for the pin at 15:28. Perkins has got to be an ROH regular at this point. He consistently delivers and this match was no different. Perkins always seems to deliver a type of match that’s different from the rest of the show, and that’s exactly what he and Hero did here. The Plymouth crowd was quieter than I would have liked and expected, but thee two still managed to keep things interesting for the entirety of the bout. ***1/2
The Bravado Bros. (Lance & Harlem Bravado) vs. Matt Taven & Guy Alexander
Taven and Alexander deliver stereo backdrops, which send the Bravados to the floor. Taven gives a pescado to both of them. Alexander drops an elbow on Harlem for two. Taven tags in and hits a double team move with Alexander. Harlem tries a sunset flip. Taven rolls through and kicks Harlem in the chest for two. Lance comes in, and Harlem catches Taven with a leg lariat. Taven dropkicks Lance into the corner and on the mat. Alexander snaps Lance’s neck. The Bravados deliver a backdrop/neckbreaker combo for two. Harlem accidentally boots Lance off the apron. Harlem sends Alexander to the floor. Taven boots Harlem and comes off the top with a crossbody. Harlem rolls through and grabs Taven’s tights to pick up the win at 4:22. A serviceable match to get the Bravado’s over as heels (although a pack of douchey fans chanted for them), but nothing more than that. *
Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin
Truth Martini accompanies Elgin to the ring. Elgin’s House of Truth partner Roderick Strong defends his World title against Edwards tomorrow night, so Elgin’s goal is to wear Edwards down before his match tomorrow night. Edwards and Elign trade forearms. Edwards’ running boots have no effect. Elgin runs through two chops and shoulder blocks Edwards down with force. Elgin delivers a delayed vertical suplex for two. Edwards takes Elgin to the mat in an STF. Edwards kicks Elgin to the floor. On the floor, Edwards slips off Elgin’s back to avoid a slam and kicks Elgin into the barricade. In the ring Edwards delivers a running kick to the chest for two. Elgin pops-up Edwards into a Samoan drop for two. Elgin drops an elbow for two. Edwards connects with a flying knee strike. Elgin aggressively pushes Edwards to the corner before delivering two backbreakers and a running senton. Elgin sends Edwards to the apron and delivers a forearm. Edwards hits an enzuigiri and goes up top. He hits a nice top rope dropkick. Elgin gets crotched up top and kicked into a tree of woe. Edwards gives Elgin a baseball slide as Elgin hangs upside down. Edwards gives him an enzuigiri and a suplex into a Falcon Arrow for two. Elgin catches Edwards’s attempt at a lungblower and picks him up in a powerbomb position. Edwards rolls forward to send himself and Elgin to the floor with a huracanrana. Edwards moonsaults to the floor, but Elgin catches Edwards and slams him with an Oklahoma Stampede. Edwards gets back into the ring just in time. Elgin knocks Edwards down with a hard lariat for two. Edwards applies the Achilles lock. Truth Martini runs in, and Edwards puts both him and Elgin into stereo Achilles locks. Elgin grabs the ropes to break free. Elgin delivers a spin-out uranange slam for two. Edwards double stomps Elgin’s back. He calls out Roderick’s name before dropping Elgin with a 2k1 Bomb for the pin at 18:05. My only real complaint was that this match (like many others on this show) are going very long and could have benefited with a few minutes shaved off. Otherwise, this was great match with hot action the entire time. ***1/2
ROH Television Championship
Christopher Daniels vs. Mike Bennett
Brutal Bob Evans is in Bennett’s corner. Bennett goofs off at the start. Bennett hits a hip toss as the crowd chants “you can’t wrestle” at him. Daniels gives Bennett two hip tosses of his own before clotheslining him to the floor. In the ring, Bennett rubs him forearm in Daniels’ face and punches him while holding his nose. Daniels drop toe holds Bennett and stomps his face into the mat. Daniels’ veteran prowess allows him to take control of the match for a good while. Bennett throws Daniels out to the floor. Daniels comes out and backdrops Bennett on the floor. Daniels goes up top as Bennett distracts the referee. Evans shoves Daniels off the top, allowing Bennett to take control of the bout. Daniels counters a sleepr hold with one of his own. Bennett uses a chin breaker to free himself. He slams Daniels for two. Bennett slugs Daniels with a right hand in the corner. Daniels pushes Bennett out of the corner and delivers a palm strike. He throws Bennett face first into the second turnbuckle. Daniels connects with a leg lariat. Daniels grasps Bennett’s hands and comes down with a boot to the chest for two. Daniels and Bennett trade strikes. Daniels drops Bennett with an STO for two. Bennett delivers a spinebuster for two. Evans grabs the TV title and grabs Daniels’ foot. Daniels chases Evans around the ring. Back in the ring, Bennett and Daniels knock each other down with stereo crossbody’s. Evans distracts the referee as he gives Bennett the TV title. Steve Corino comes out and takes the bell. Daniels connects with a uranage and the Best Moonsault Ever for the pin at 16:44. At least Bennett didn’t win the title. Bennett is seriously not over in any positive way and really needs to change; like, now. All the interference and stuff didn’t help, and when you consider the finish, this really could have been shortened considerably. **1/4
Davey Richards vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn are in Claudio’s corner. Claudio’s power allows him to get the early advantage. Richards takes Claudio over with a huracanrana. Richards slides to the floor as Claudio hits the ropes. Richards baits Claudio into being dropkicked to the floor. Richards follows out with a dive through the ropes. Richards headscissors Claudio into a Fujiwara armbar, which Claudio breaks via the bottom rope. Sara distracts the referee while Hagadorn holds Richards’ leg. Claudio boots Richards off the apron. Claudio whips Richards into the guardrail. In the ring, Claudio delivers a gut wrench suplex for two. Richards boots Claudio as Claudio heads to the top rope. Claudio fights off a superplex and forearms Richards back to the mat. Claudio nails him with a diving European uppercut for two. Richards sends Claudio to the floor, shoving Sara off the mat at the same time. Richards kicks Hagadorn from the apron, then jumps off to give Claudio a tornado DDT. In the ring Richards hits a top rope dropkick for two. Richards gives Claudio a running knee strike in the corner before crotching Claudio on the top rope. Richards goes for a superplex, but both Richards and Claudio fall off the top and to the floor. Richards lands a crossbody for two. Claudio knocks him down with a boot for two. Richards counters a chokeslam, but Claudio turns his roll up into a wheelbarrow suplex. Claudio chokeslams Richards for two. After a strike exchange, Richards gives Claudio a suplex. Claudio counters the Damage Reflex into a U.F.O. for two. Richards rolls Claudio into a triangle choke. Claudio picks him up onto his shoulders and goes to the second rope. Claudio tosses Richards in a fallaway slam for two. Richards turns a Ricola Bomb into a Code Red for two. Richards blocks a pop-up European uppercut into a backslide for two. Richards kicks Claudio in the side of the head for two. Richards double stomps Claudio’s back and goes up top. He hits a shooting star press for the pin at 19:27. When you take arguably the two best guys in a company and put them in a match that’s long enough to showcase their ability, you’re bound to get something very good. The story they told was excellent and kept the crowd engaged for the lot of it. I’d love to see a rematch sometime. ***3/4
ROH World Championship – “Defy or Deny” Elimination Match
Roderick Strong vs. Jay Briscoe vs. El Generico vs. Homicide
If Roderick Srtong wins, the other three opponents can not challenge for the ROH World Championship as long as Roderick is the champion. If Jay, Generico, or Homicide win, they get a ROH World Championship match at “Honor Takes Center Stage: Chapter 2”.
Strong tries to strike up a partnership with Homicide, but he won’t have it. When Generico can’t get the better of Jay, he tags out to Homicide. Jay and Homicide reach a stalemate, so Homicide tags in Strong. Jay lights Strong up with forearms. Strong kicks out Jay’s leg and tags in Homicide. Homicide begins a Three Amigos sequence telling Generico they’re for him. Generico shoves Homicide then goes back to the apron. Jay backs Strong to Generico’s corner and tags him in. Generico snapmares Strong for one. Strong and Homicide beat down Generico in “their” corner, showing some unity. Generico turns the tide and gives Homicide a face wash in the corner. Jay and Generico get Strong in the ring, where Jay delivers an onslaught of kicks and punches. Strong takes Jay to the floor and kicks him in the corner of the barricades. Homicide wears Jay down while trash talking Generico. Homicide teases some dissension with Strong, but ultimately they help each other isolate Jay from tagging out to Generico. Jay is able to side step an attack from Homicide and tag Generico, but Strong prevents Generico from coming in. Homicide turns on Strong, armdragging him down and delivering a bulldog. Generico wipes out Strong with a tope con hilo. Homicide pitches Jay to the floor and follows with a tope suicida. Homicide delivers a flying knee to Jay’s neck in the ring for two. Jay comes back with a spinebuster. All four men knock each other down. Jay recovers quickly and looks for the Jay Driller on Homicide. Homicide reverses into a Cop Killer. Jay escapes but eats an ace crusher. Strong crotches Homicide on the top rope. Generico gives him a yakuza kick. Jay drops Homicide with the Jay Driller for the eliminiation at 18:17. Generico brings Strong to the floor and whips him into the barricade. He hits him with a yakuza kick. Jay planchas onto both Generico and Strong. In the ring, Jay gives Strong a neckbreaker for two. Jay shrugs off a rolling elbow and drops Strong with a Michinoku Driver for two. Generico looks for the top rope brainbuster on Jay. Strong brings Generico down. Generico gives Strong a tornado DDT. Jay splashes Generico from the top for two. Generico gives Jay three yakuza kicks. Jay blocks a fourth in the corner. Strong German suplexes Jay, causing Jay to give Generico a suplex of his own. Strong dumps Generico to the floor and gives Jay a brainbuster. Strong pins Jay for the elimination at 24:03. Strong slams Generico on the floor. In the ring Strong delivers a backbreaker for two. Strong lights up Generico with forearms and elbows. Generico spins out Strong into a powerbomb for two. Generico drops Strong with a Michinoku Driver for two. Strong counters a half-nelson suplex with a gut buster. He superkicks Generico for two. Strong applies a Boston Crab. Strong then hits the Sick Kick for two. Strong gives Generico a pair of kicks in the corner. Generico hits a half-nelson suplex and a yakuza kick. He looks for the top rope brainbuster. Martini distracts the referee, allowing Michael Elgin to run in and powerbomb Generico off the middle rope. Strong hits another Sick Kick for the pin at 31:55. The first half of this match was really dull, with guys just trading strikes with little to no purpose. I never really thought anyone was dying to be the new champion. The fact that this went over a half hour and had a BS finish is maddening. I can’t fault ROH for being ambitious and trying something new, but the way this was pulled off was very disappointing. **1/2
The House of Truth beat down Generico, but Christopher Daniels and The American Wolves run out and chase them away.
Backstage, Roderick promises tomorrow night he will still be the Ring of Honor World Champion when the show concludes.